Yachtie's Travels

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 21:50

Member - Yachtie (Qld)

Well finally we have left on our journey around Oz. Our rig consists of a Discovery 4 and Roma 20 ft caravan. Our travels will take us around Australia from Brisbane heading west to Darwin.
On our first leg, we will head west from Brisbane through Toowoomba along the Warrego highway to Charleville and then north to Lawn Hill west of Gregory Downs via Long reach, Winton and Cloncurry. From Lawn Hill we will travel back to Cloncurry through Mt. Isa, Camooweal, Tennant Creek and then head north to Darwin via Kakadu. We hope to be in Darwin by June.

Our second leg will be from Darwin back to Katherine and then around the West Australian coast to Perth taking in parts of the Kimberley, Broome, Exmouth, Carnarvon and Geraldton. From Perth we will travel around the south east coast taking in the areas around Margaret River, Albany and Esperance. We will then continue up to Kalgoorlie via Norseman before retracing our route back to Norseman and tackling the Nullabor.
In South Australia, we will follow the coast from Ceduna around the Eyre Peninsula taking in the towns of Port Lincoln and Whyalla. After visiting Port Augusta at the head of the Spenser Gulf, we will continue down the Yorke Peninsula to Marion Bay at the southern tip. We will then head north up the eastern side around the Vincent Gulf and then head for the wine growing regions of the Clare Valley, Barossa, Eden Valley, McLaren Vale and Coonawarra. We will then make a quick dash across Victoria to the Port of Melbourne to catch the Spirit of Tasmania to Devonport. We hope to be in Melbourne by mid November.

Our third leg of our trip will be spent exploring Tasmania over the summer period and up to mid April.

Our fourth and final leg of our trip will be exploring the eastern half of Victoria before heading back to Brisbane along the east coast of NSW. We hope to be home by the end of June. The entire trip will take up approximately 15 months.



FIRST LEG OF OUR JOURNEY
Day 1 Thursday 4/4/2013
We travelled to the Darling Downs and stayed at a free camp-site at Nobby, a small township south of Toowoomba. This is a quiet spot where we have been a number of times before. The camp-site is located opposite the Rudd hotel of the Steele Rudd fame known for the Dad and Dave series.


Day 2 Friday 5/4/2013
We travelled back to Toowoomba for some repairs to the camera on the van and then drove through to the Chinchilla weir free camp-site located about 8 kms south of the town. There were about a dozen campers on site when we arrived. It was a good camp-site located off the main road with views of the lake formed by the weir. Communications on the Telstra network were difficult to obtain depending on your handset.



Day 3 Saturday 6/4/2013
We headed off for the township of Roma on the Warrego highway where we stayed at the Villa caravan park located north of town on the Carnarvon highway. The Romavilla winery is located next to the caravan park but as I soon found out, it was closed and up for sale.

Day 4 Sunday 7/4/2013
We headed for the information centre where we paid a visit to the Big Rig located behind the centre. The Big Rig display told the story of the early days of oil discovery in Queensland.


Day 5 Monday 8/4/2013
After leaving Roma, we travelled for 88 km's to Mitchell which is the next township on the Warrego Highway where we stayed at a free camp-site located near the Neil Turner Weir located one km west of town. The facilities included flush toilets, BBQ's, shelter sheds and town water. There was plenty of room alongside the weir allowing you many options to choose your camp-site. There was a boat ramp located just before the camp-site where you could launch your tinnie or kayak to fish in the waters of the weir.

Day 6 Tuesday 9/4/2013
After a quiet nights sleep and breakfast, we ventured out into town and had a look at the shops. Afterwards, we checked out the other free camp-site located a further 3 km's along the highway at Fisherman's Rest. The camp-site was more suitable for fishing due to the easy access to the river but not as suitable for camping. I had looked forward to trying out my kayak on the weir but the weather turned miserable and overcast. [Image cannot be loaded]

Day 7 Wednesday 10/4/2013
We left for Charleville Bush Caravan Park located approximately 180 km's from Mitchell. We passed through the small township of Morven which is near the junction of the Landsborough and Warrego highways. The road on which the caravan park is located is claimed to be the longest in Australia.


After setting up camp, we headed for the information centre located near the airport. We tried to book the Cosmos Centre but found that it was already booked out for the night. After having a coffee and sharing a lamington, we had a drive through town and ventured back to camp where we were met by a mob of kangaroos and a few emus.
The facilities at the park were first rate with 2 amenities blocks, separate laundry area and camp kitchen with 2 camp-fire circles. We finished the day with a drink around the camp-fire.
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Day 8 Thursday 11/4/2013
Today we went on a tag a long tour visiting the top secret WW2 airforce base at Charleville. The secret base is where the Charleville airstrip now stands and at the time had a population of around 3500 US airforce personnel. It was from this base that the flying fortresses used in the Battle of the Coral Sea were based. There are only remnants left now of the original camp-site but a few of the remaining buildings still remain such as the aircraft maintenance hanger, water tower and a concrete building where the bombers Nordem bomb sights were housed.



Day 9 Friday 12/4/2013
Before we left Charleville, we went on the Flood, Fire and Heritage Tour leaving from the caravan park. The tour included a two hour trip around the town showing some of the heights from the previous floods since 1990 and the flood mitigation that is now underway to prevent a recurrence of the flooding.
After leaving the caravan park, we headed north to a fishing spot on the Warrego River approximately 40 km’s north. This was a free bush camp situated about 500 metres from the main road. It was my first attempt to use my yabbie trap. Either the yabbie’s were not there or they didn’t like my bait I was using. We later cooked our joint of roast lamb in the Magma before sitting around the campfire with a good glass of port admiring the night sky before heading for bed.

Day 10 Saturday 13/4/2013
We left our riverside camp-site and headed for Blackall a distance of 262km’s. We visited the information centre located near the end of the main street and loaded the car up with pamphlets before moving to our camp-site. The camp-site was located down on the town common to the south of town next to the Barcoo River. Not a bad spot for $5.00 a night. We shared the camp-site with about 20 other caravans and mobile homes. I photographed a sculpure of an eagle or hawk which had been constructed from scrap metal. I thought it was well done.



Day 11 Sunday 14/4/2013
Distance travelled today: 107km’s from Blackall to Barcaldine
Campsite : Lloyd Jones Weir, Barcaldine, 23°38'59"S 145°12'56"E
Weather : Fine and warm
Activities:
Before leaving Blackall we visited the Wool Scour museum which is the only fully steam-powered wool washing plant left in Australia. It was used commercially under steam power from 1908 until 1978. It is now a tourist attraction but the machinery is as functional now as it was then. We continued on to Barcaldine and set up camp at the Weir. It is a free campsite approximately 15 kms out of town with water, toilets, a dump point, wood barbecues and picnic tables. The whole campsite is maintained by the local council and there is a donation box for those who appreciate the efforts made and want to help keep it that way.


Day 12, Monday 15/4/2013
Distance travelled today: 26km’s from campsite to Barcaldine & return
Campsite: Lloyd Jones Weir, Barcaldine, 23°38'59"S 145°12'56"E
Weather : Fine during the day, Thunderstorm during the evening
Activities: Visited the Workers Heritage Museum and Tree of Knowledge

Today we explored the town of Barcaldine. You can’t miss the Tree of Knowledge Memorial which sits right in the middle of town.

In 1891 Queensland Shearers and pastoralists were involved in an industrial battle which was to have a profound effect on Australia’s future. A large Ghost Gum in the centre of Barcaldine came to symbolize this important place and time in Australia’s political development. Because of its association with these events, the tree became known as the ‘Tree of Knowledge’.


After some lunch at one of the local pubs we spent the rest of the day at the Australian Workers Heritage Centre.

The centre pays tribute to the lives of the extraordinary people who built our nation and fought fearlessly to defend the freedom that all Australians enjoy.
We had our first storm tonight with a bit of wind, a good lightning show and some nice rain.

Day 13, Tuesday 16/4/2013
Distance travelled today: 0km’s
Campsite: Lloyd Jones Weir, Barcaldine, 23°38'59"S 145°12'56"E
Weather : Fine & warm
Activities: Kayaking on the weir, fishing

Today we caught up on washing and Ken took the kayak out for a paddle and put out a pot hoping to catch some red claw. The weir is 1.6 kms long so after a few trips up and back he paddled about 6kms. No luck with the red claw only 2 small shrimps this time.

Day 14, Wednesday 17/4/2013
Distance travelled today: 107km’s from Barcaldine to Longreach
Campsite:Longreach Waterhole, 23 24 33 S 144 13 46 E
Weather : Fine & warm
Activities: Visited the Infracombe Machinery & Heritage Museum
The museum was opened by the Infracombe Historical Society in 1969 and was one of the first to be opened in the Western Queensland district . The museum runs along the length of the highway through town and boasts one of the finest collections of machinery in the country and is free.

Day 15, Thursday 18/4/2013
Distance travelled today:
Campsite:Longreach Waterhole, 23 24 33 S 144 13 46 E
Weather : Hot. 23-36C
Activities: Visited the Qantas Founders Museum, Lunch at the RSL
The museum opened in 2002 and is built around the heritage listed 1922 hangar. The complex houses historic photographs, memorabilia and multi-media interactive displays which tell the inspirational stories of overcoming the problems of long distance travel in Outback Australia. The museum is home to an impressive collection of vintage aircraft as well as the 747 and 707

Day 16 Friday, 19/4/2013
Distance travelled today: 30km’s
Campsite: Longreach Waterhole, 23 24 33 S 144 13 46 E
Weather :
Activities: Fishing & catching Red Claw, Kinnon & Co. Thomson Paddle wheeler Cruise
Spent most of the day at a secluded waterhole trying to catch some Red Claw in a number of pots and throwing in a line to catch yellowbelly. No luck with the yellowbelly but did manage to get a couple of red claw.

We ended the day on a Kinnon & Co sunset cruise on the Thomson River.

It is a family run business and was built out of a need to get more income during a few very hard years of drought. Their bus will pick you up from wherever you are staying and take you down to the river. You are then taken o n a sunset cruise on either a Thomson Belle Paddle wheeler or a flat bottomed boat with nibblies provided. Once back on shore you are served a 2 course Stockman’s dinner under the stars followed by some good storytelling and a sound and light show. The evening ended with some billy tea and damper. Good show, well worth the expense.

Day 17, Saturday 20/4/2013
Distance travelled today:
Campsite:Longreach Waterhole, 23 24 33 S 144 13 46 E
Weather : Fine 15-30 deg C
Price of Diesel: $1.55 @ Shell on south side of town
Activities: Stockmen’s Hall of Fame, restocked with fuel, food & water
Left the Longreach waterhole campsite to refuel and refill the water tanks at the Longreach showground. From the showground, we ventured onto the Stockman’s Hall of Fame.

It is a museum tracing the rich history and heritage of Australia with many displays, an Art Gallery, café, gardens, auditorium and daily live shows.

Returned to the waterhole campsite for the night.

Day 18, Sunday 21/4/2013
Distance travelled today: 180Km’s from Longreach to Winton
Campsite: North Gregory Hotel, Winton 22 23 22 S 143 02 17 E
Weather : Fine 12-30 deg C
Activities: Walked the town, kept out of the heat and flies in the hotel air conditioning socializing with other caravanners.


Day 19, Monday 22/4/2013
Distance travelled today: 50 kms
Campsite: North Gregory Hotel , Winton 22 23 22 S 143 02 17 E
Weather : Fine
Price of Diesel: $1.54 @ Caltex on south side of town
Activities
Eating Flies, Age of Dinosaur Museum & Tour
The museum is located on top of a huge mesa plateau called the “The Jump Up”. It has huge rocky outcrops, cliffs, canyons and spectacular distance views.


It is home to the world’s largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils and the biggest fossil preparation laboratory in the Southern Hemisphere.




We made the mistake of buying a couple of meat pies at the museum for lunch but half the time you didn’t know whether you were eating the pie or the flies as they were that bad.

Day 20, Tuesday 23/4/2013
Distance travelled today: 348 kms from Winton to Cloncurry
Campsite:Oasis Caravan Park, Cloncurry
Weather : Fine
Price of Diesel: $1.64 @ Woolworths Petrol Plus with Woolies 8c discount
Activities: Restocked with food, fuel & camping gear
The road from Winton to Cloncurry was in good condition with little in the way of scenery along the way.


Day 21, Wednesday 24/4/2013
Distance travelled today: 78 Kms from Cloncurry to Terry Smith Lookout
Campsite:Terry Smith Lookout 20 04 48S 140 13 40 E
Weather : Fine
Activities: Checked and rectified connections on solar panels
After carrying out checks on the current generated by my two 95 watt solar panels, I found that the connections were not making contact even though the plugs were correctly inserted. After modifying the connections, I have now doubled my solar input. I have also found that I had to bypass the MPPT regulator on my portable panels as it was not allowing the full input through the main MPPT regulator in the caravan.

Day 22, Thursday 25/4/2013
Distance travelled today: 256 Kms from Terry Smith Lookout to Gregory Downs
Campsite:Gregory Downs 18 38 57S, 139 15 15E
Weather : Fine
Price of Diesel: $1.78 @ Burke & Wills Roadhouse
Activities:
Set up camp on the side of riverbed with about 8 other caravans, travelled 50km’s along road in the Disco to Adels Grove to check the condition of the road and later swam in the Gregory River & relaxed.
The Gregory River at Gregory Downs is fast flowing around 7 knots and very clean with a green tinge to the water from the calcium content in the water. A great spot under the bridge to cool off on a hot day.



Day 23, Friday 26/4/2013
Distance travelled today: 0 Kms
Campsite:Gregory Downs 18 38 57S, 139 15 15E
Weather : Fine > 35C
Activities:
Swam in the Gregory River, read books & relaxed.
My neighbour in another caravan came over to me in the morning and got me to check his portable solar panel as he feared that he had burnt it out. He had bought an extension lead for his panel to extend the distance he could place the panel away from the van in the sun. He later found that the plug-tops had been incorrectly wired which resulted in a reverse polarity and a burnt out regulator. This was an expensive mistake.
I was told that the waters from the Gregory River come from the large underground freshwater springs of the Georgina Basin that underlies the Barkly Tableland.


Day 24, Saturday 27/4/2013
Distance travelled today: 85 Kms from Gregory Downs to Adels Grove, Lawn Hill National Park
Campsite: Adels Grove, Lawn Hill National Park, 18 42 05S, 138 29 16E
Weather : Fine > 35C
Activities
Swimming, Harry’s Hill Sunset Tour
Before leaving Gregory Downs, we covered all the side vents and door of the caravan with gladwrap to prevent dust getting into the caravan. Don’t try this with a 3 way fridge as I think there could be a problem due to the excessive build up of heat. We also found that we had collected a puncture in one of the rear tyres of the Disco. Thanks to the tyre monitoring system, it indicated that the pressure had dropped to 30psi which in time would have destroyed the tyre on the dirt road. That would have cost over $600-$700 to replace out here. Lucky it was a slow leak as I was able to pump the tyre up and get us to Adels Grove along the dirt road towing the caravan without any problems.
We found that leaving on the weekend to travel, we missed all the road trains leaving Century Mine to travel to Kurumba on the Gulf. On the way, the catch on the caravan freezer door came loose resulting in frozen food on the floor of the caravan.
When we arrived at Adels Grove, no dust had entered the caravan due to our dust proofing and opening up the special vent we had fitted to the top of the van which helped pressurize the interior and keep the dust out. We had kept our speed down to about 45kph due to the dust and sections of corrugations on the road.
After settling in, we booked to go on a tour to Harry’s Hill just out of the campground. We were driven by bus to the top of Harry’s Hill by one of the tour guides from Adels Grove giving us a commentary on the native fauna and flora of the area. The view gave us our bearings and direction of the entrance to Lawn Hill gorge. We finished the tour with drinks and nibbles and watched the glorious sunset.


Day 25, Sunday 28/4/2013
Distance travelled today: 20 Kms return to Lawn Hill National Park
Campsite: Adels Grove, Lawn Hill National Park, 18 42 05S, 138 29 16E
Weather : Fine 21-31+C
Activities:
Travelled to Lawn Hill National Park to make phone calls to relatives & friends as there is no mobile phone reception at the campground, submitted our blog. Kayaked at Adels Grove followed by a roast cooked over the fire.
I went on a solo kayak trip up the river towards Lawn Hill for approximately 3 km’s before coming across a set of rapids. On the way, I observed a number of kangaroos drinking at the water’s edge and on my return trip noticed a wild pig digging in the underground foliage. The river was the same colour as the Gregory River with a green tinge from the calcium. On both sides of the banks were stands of cabbage palms and large paperbark trees.

Day 26, Monday 29/4/2013
Distance travelled today: 20 Kms return to Lawn Hill National Park
Campsite: Adels Grove, Lawn Hill National Park, 18 42 05S, 138 29 16E
Weather : Fine 21-33C
Activities: Repaired punctured tyre, Washing and walk at Lawn Hill National Park
After breakfast, I tackled the punctured tyre on the Disco. I found a sharp piece of steel about 35mm long and 5-10 mm thick had penetrated the tread. This was my first attempt at repairing a tyre with the tyre repair kit and after removing the steel spike and following the instructions, the tyre was repaired if only temporally until I got back to Cloncurry where it could be permanently repaired.
In the meantime, Maria was keeping up with the washing and I was trying to load programs onto my phone without any success.
After lunch, we ventured up to the gorge to take in the sights and go on one of the many walks. We went on the Wild Dog Dreaming circuit and the Cascades circuit a distance of 6.6 km’s. I ventured up to the Island Stack Circuit which involved a steep climb for 200 metres from the Cascades Circuit until you hit the top which ended in a flat plateau. The circuit then continued around the plateau for 1.6km’s with views to the lower and upper gorges.

Day 27, Tuesday 30/4/2013
Distance travelled today: 20 Kms return to Lawn Hill National Park
Campsite: Ade’s Grove, Lawn Hill National Park, 18 42 05S, 138 29 16E
Weather : Fine Hot @23-36C
Activities: Canoeing up the middle and upper gorges
Today we hired a plastic Canadian canoe at the national park for $50 for 2 hours which gave you enough time to paddle up the middle gorge to Indarri falls and then on up to the upper gorge, a return distance of 6 km’s.
The falls were created from natural tufa made from mineral rock deposits which have formed over many years to create the waterfall.
From the falls you had to portage around the falls by dragging the canoe over a trail skirting the falls. No way could Maria and I lift the canoe due to its weight. Give me my fiberglass kayak any day as it only weighs 18 kg.
From the top of the falls we ventured as far as we could by going through a narrow passage with fast flowing water until we hit a set of rapids which ended our trip up the gorge. We returned by the same route back to the national park headquarters.






Day 28, Wednesday 1/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 85 Kms from Adels Grove, Lawn Hill National Park toGregory Downs Campsite:Gregory Downs 18 38 57S, 139 15 15E
Weather : Fine Hot @20-33C
Activities: Prepared the vehicles, drove to Gregory Downs and cleaned the vehicles, swam in the Gregory River.
Today we woke to another fine day and after preparing the caravan for the dusty road, we headed off for Gregory Downs. Being a work day, we encountered eight road trains and a couple of cars over the sixty odd kms of dirt road. Luckily, the majority of the trucks slowed down enough to reduce the dust.
When we got to Gregory Downs, we set up the caravan and then took the Disco to the water’s edge where I could try out my new water pump to wash down the dust from the vehicle. I then filled up a number of jerry cans and gave the caravan a well deserved bath. I got a number of comments from neighbouring caravanners who wanted their caravans to be done next.
We ended the day with a well deserved cool swim in the river.


Day 29, Thursday 2/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 370 Kms from Gregory Downs to Corella Dam located
Campsite: Corella Dam 20 50 16.2S; 140 2 47.2E
Weather: Fine Hot @21-33C
Price of Diesel: $1.78 @ Burke & Wills Roadhouse & $1.619 @ Cloncurry Woolworths Petrol Plus with 8c discount voucher

Activities: Driving and shopping

Corella Dam is approximately 65 kms out of Mt Isa. It is a popular spot where you can camp along the edge of the dam. The dam is home to lots of ducks and swans, some red claw and Johnson River freshwater crocodiles. It also has a boat ramp for those who want to throw in a line.




Day 30, Friday 3/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 0 Kms
Campsite: Corella Dam 20 50 16.2S; 140 2 47.2E
Weather: Fine Hot @21-33C, windy
Activities:

We spent the day relaxing, setting up the satellite dish and tried to update the blog including photos. We finished the day with a three course candlelight dinner under the stars to celebrate our wedding anniversary.



Day 31, Saturday 4/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 0 Kms
Campsite: Corella Dam 20 50 16.2S; 140 2 47.2E
Weather: Fine Hot @21-33C, windy
Activities: helping a neighbour with his computer & setting up his satellite dish, Crabbing

I spent a lot of today helping a neighbour set up his satellite dish and worked with him on his computer to help fix up a few problems he was having. I put my pots in overnight hoping to get some more red claw. During the evening, a neighbour brought around a fresh water crocodile he had caught in the dam. I was about 750mm long and quiet docile.

Day 32, Sunday 5/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 65 Kms
Campsite: Argylla Discovery Caravan Park, Mt. Isa
Weather: Fine Hot @21-32C
Activities: Crabbing & shopping

I checked my pots before leaving and managed to snare a couple of good sized red claw and 2 turtles. The turtles were returned to the dam. We continued on our way to Mt Isa and set up camp in the caravan park. After catching up on the washing and a bite to eat, we took a drive into town.
We’ve visited ‘The Isa” as the locals like to call it previously and had already seen many of its attractions. Today we were just looking to see if the hardware stores were open as I wanted to purchase a ladder. The stores were open but no luck with the ladder I wanted. We finished the day with an enjoyable dinner at the Irish Club.



Day 33, Monday 6/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 25 Kms
Campsite: Argylla Discovery Caravan Park, Mt. Isa
Weather: Fine Hot @21-32C
Activities: Shopping

Today we restocked all our supplies and tried to get the tablet fixed. I’d dropped it earlier and found it doesn’t bounce all that well. It was cheaper to buy a new one. I also discovered there are no fiberglass stepladders in Mt Isa and it would take Bunning’s 2 weeks to get one in on a special order. I’ll try again in Darwin.

Day 34, Tuesday 7/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 190 Kms from Mt. Isa to Camooweal
Campsite:Lake Francis Camooweal 19 55 36.2S 138 6 52.2 E
Weather: Fine Hot @21-32C
Price of Diesel: $1.529 @ Shell Express with Coles discount voucher of 4c/ litre.
Activities:

Set up camp on the banks of Lake Francis with many other travelers. Heading west from Camooweal you cross the first bridge and take the road to the left. Follow along for approximately 600 metres and take the branch to the left towards the lake and you will find plenty of space for camping. The lake is abundant with birdlife and supposedly wild pigs.


Day 35, Wednesday, 8/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 10 Kms
Campsite:Lake Francis Camooweal 19 55 36.2S 138 6 52.2 E
Weather: Fine Hot @18-32C
Activities: Caving and crabbing, catching up with the blog

Today I decided to try for more red claws in the lake. I set two pots as a trial before leaving for some sinkholes which we were told about located just north of Camooweal. We left our campsite on the lake and took the dirt road to Burketown just east of Camooweal and travelled approximately 2.34 kms until we crossed a cattle grid. From the cattle grid we travelled a further 1.9 kms where a track veered off to the left. From the road, you could see the dark green foliage of the trees associated with the sinkhole.


The walk down to the base of the sinkhole was a short walk approximately 100 metres. At the base, the area opened up to a large limestone cave. On the way back to town, we visited the Drover s Camp located on the edge of town. A volunteer guide took us through the museum which deals with the history of droving throughout Australia. The talk was very informative on the history of droving with a number of displays and art gallery of paintings of past drovers.
On return to the camp, I checked the pots with no results. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the lake and updating the blog.


Day 36, Thursday, 9/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 217 Kms from Camooweal to Wonarah Bore on the Barkly Tableland
Campsite: Wonarah Bore 19 50 33S 136 09 23E
Weather: Fine Hot @26-34C
Cost of Diesel: $ 1.899 at BP Cammoweal
Activities: Driving
Today we got up late before retrieving the 2 pots from Lake Francis with 3 red claw as a result. We decided to head off for Wonarah Bore on the Barkly Tableland. We had camped at this site on our previous trip and had found it to be a quiet spot to pull off the highway. There is plenty of space for all types of rigs on level ground located around a large hole in the ground which had been filled by the adjacent bore and windmill. There are some shade trees. Along the way we crossed the Northern Territory border and took the compulsory photo and stopped for lunch at Avon Downs.
I had to take a photo for my uncle of the old steam engine outside the police station. He and his friends had painted it on their trip around Australia back in 1975. Needs another paint job.

Clocks had to be wound back 30 minutes.
On arrival at about 3.00pm, there were already about 10 other caravans and mobile homes on site. We noticed that the windmill had been removed and the waterhole was now dry. There is a concrete water-tank located nearby filled by the NT main roads.

After setting up and preparing a roast chicken, we sat outside the caravan as the temperature was still quite warm. I think this will be the last roast we will cook in the van without air conditioning to cool the van as it was still 31C inside at 9.00pm.
We sat outside after dinner to observe the stars but it was the first night where the clouds blotted out our view.


Day 37, Friday 10/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 304Kms from Worarah Bore on the Barkly Tableland to Banka Banka Station on the Stuart Highway 74 kms north of the 3 Ways intersection
Campsite: Banka Banka Station 18 47 33S 134 01 34E
Weather: Fine Hot @26-34C
Cost of Diesel: $ 1.895 @ the 3 Ways Roadhouse
Activities: Driving
Today we left Worarah Bore after the hottest night so far at 26C. The DC fan worked overtime all night.
The drive to Banka Banka Station was quite pleasant with a tailwind all the way to the 3 Ways intersection which definitely helped the fuel economy. The fuel at the 3 Ways was the most expensive that we had purchased so far.
We ventured on to the Banka Banka Station which is an operating cattle station and camping ground. On our arrival you couldn’t help but notice the green grassy sites.

We were the third outfit to arrive but by the afternoon there were about 20 caravans and motor-homes. The sites were unpowered but were serviced by good drinking water.
After settling in, we washed our van and car for an additional fee of $4.00 for the use of the water. Later that night, we sat around the communal fireplace where we were entertained by some local talent.




Day 38, Saturday 11/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 307 Kms from Banka Banka Station to the Daly Waters Pub & Caravan Park
Campsite:Daly Waters Pub & Caravan Park 16 15 20S 133 22 12E
Weather: Fine Hot @26-34C
Cost of Diesel: $ 1.649 @ the Hi-Way Inn on the Stuart Highway at Daly Waters. It is about 10c/litre dearer at the service station over the road from the pub.

Activities: Driving & meal with entertainment at the Daly Waters Pub.

Today we left Banka Banka Station after filling our water tanks with water which was the softest water found so far since leaving Brisbane and continued onto the Daly Waters Pub. We passed through the township of Newcastle Waters located off the main highway but any of the remaining attractions appeared to have closed.
On arrival at Daly Waters we booked in to a powered site and registered our names for dinner and their world famous Beef and Barra cooked on the bbq. From April to October the bbq is on every night along with some live entertainment.

Daly Waters is famous for having Northern Territory’s oldest pub and Australia’s first international airport and now the new John McDouall Stuart Heritage and Nature Trail. It was the rear guard base during the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese in WW2. The Daly Waters Pub is the centerpiece of town.

It has a great atmosphere with memorabilia and artifacts left behind by visitors since it was first established in 1930 and is home to Australia’s original “Thong Tree”.

It is well worth the visit.






Day 39, Sunday 12/5/2013 Mothers Day
Distance travelled today: 0 Kms
Campsite:Daly Waters Pub & Caravan Park 16 15 20S 133 22 12E
Weather: Fine Hot
Activities:
We decided to stay an extra day and catch up on washing, bills, phone calls and the blog.






Day 40, Monday 13/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 185 Kms from Daly Waters to Elsey National Park 20kms east of Mataranka on the Stuart Highway
Campsite: Jalmurark Camping Area for 2 nights @ $13.40 a night 14 57 18 S 133 13 09 E
Weather: Fine Hot 21-37C
Activities: Driving & Walks.
After leaving Daly Waters we passed through the small town of Larrimah. It came into being in 1940 with the construction of the nearby Gorrie Airfield, which was a highly secretive RAAF base visited by General McArthur and built to provide maintenance and repair facilities to the allied air forces during World War 11.

We checked out the museum in the old telegraph building and the zoo which is part of the Pink Panther Pub. Originally, the pub was the world war 11 Officer’s Mess.
After travelling through Mataranka, we travelled 20 kms east on a good bitumen road and set up camp at Jalmurark Camping Area in the Elsey National Park.
After setting up camp and checking out the river I unsuccessfully tried to align the satellite dish. I later found that the level indicator was not reading accurately and the computer co-ordinates were incorrect. After spending over an hour I gave up. I will try again another day.

Day 41, Tuesday 14/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 40 Kms
Campsite: Jalmurark Camping Area
Weather: Fine Hot 18.5-33C
Activities: Checked out local sights
We drove into Mataranka which is known as the capital of the Never Never. The area was home to Jeanie Gunn who wrote the famous book about Elsey Station titled “We of the Never Never. We visited the Mataranka Homestead and looked through the building used to depict Elsey Station in the film,” We of the Never Never”.
We followed this up with a swim in the crystal clean (34 degree C) thermal pool at Mataranka Station and checked out the free Barramundi feeding at the Territory Manor. The barramundi here could be caught with your bare hands.

We then drove to the Bitter Springs thermal pools and visited the Elsey Cemetery.

A lot of the gravestones mark the resting place of many of the characters written about in Jeannie Gunn’s book.



Day 42, Wednesday 15/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 153 Kms
Campsite:Katherine Gorge Campground, 2 nights, powered for $40 per night
14 19 23 S 132 25 13 E
Weather: Fine Hot
Cost of Diesel: $1.46 with a 15c discount thanks to Woolworths
Activities: Driving and Shopping

We arrived in Katherine and visited the Information Centre to collect some more brochures about the area and its surrounds.Katherine is the fourth largest town in the Northern Territory and is also home to the first permanent running water encountered by travelers along the road north from Port Augusta.

We restocked our supplies at the local Woolies and ran into Ernie Dingo doing his weekly shopping. The toilets in this shopping complex were either locked or had a security guard blocking the entrance. If you wanted to use them you had to pay $2.00. When I stated to the janitor that I would use my own, he said that he had heard that a couple of times already today. When I returned the trolley to the supermarket, the gate was locked. It appears that business was not profitable.


Day 43, Thursday 16/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 70 Kms
Campsite:Katherine Gorge Campground
Weather: Fine Hot
Activities: Boat trip up the Katherine Gorge, shopping

There are a number of ways to explore the Katherine River Gorge system. There are scenic flights, boat cruises and canoeing. At the moment the gorge is closed for canoeing and swimming as the rangers are still making sure that they have caught and relocated any salt water crocodiles that may have entered the gorge during the wet season.




Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park consists of 13 natural gorges carved through sandstone by the Katherine River with rocks and boulders separating each gorge. We took a three gorge tour with a guided commentary explaining its history.
Part of the tour included a swim in Lillyponds plunge pool and waterfall with some morning tea snacks provided.








Day 44, Friday 17/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 91 Kms from Katherine to Edith Falls National Park
Campsite: Edith Falls National Park, 1 night at $13.20
Weather: Fine, Hot 25-36C
Activities: Swimming at the falls in the afternoon, Found the problem with the satellite dish. Vertical level and satellite settings were incorrect.
Edith Falls is part of the Nitmiluk National Park and offers a variety of walking tracks.
Adjacent to the camping ground at the base of Edith Falls is a large pandanus fringed plunge pool which is a very popular swimming area. It was very hot and the falls provided a great place to cool down.






Day 45, Saturday 18/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 271 Kms from Edith Falls to Howard Springs south of Darwin via Pine Creek and Adelaide River
Campsite: Big 4 Howard Springs, 170 Whitewood Rd. Howard Springs, $36 a night with discount for 9 nights
Weather: Fine Very Hot overnight 27-37C
Cost of Diesel: $ 1.599 with 4c Woolies discount
Activities: Driving and setting up camp
We had planned to stay at Edith Falls for two nights and then head to Kakadu, but because the humidity still hadn’t dropped we decided to travel to Darwin first. The temperature was still above 30 degrees at 3.00 in the morning. We stopped for lunch at Pine Creek. We hope to check it out more thoroughly when we past next time.
After arriving at the Big 4 at Howard Springs we were told to pick our own site anywhere in the park. We drove through the park which was very green and spacious. We chose a site towards the rear of the park with lust green grass and a concrete slab. The area was lightly shaded with the amenities nearby. There are 3 swimming pools in the park.




Day 46, Sunday 19/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 75 Kms
Campsite: Big 4 Howard Springs
Weather: Fine Hot 26-34C
Activities: Visited Local Sights at Darwin
We drove out to Cullen Bay Marina and enjoyed some local fish and chips for lunch overlooking the bay and checked out the Darwin Sailing Club and the Mindil Beach Markets.
The Mindil Beach Markets operate from the last Thursday in April to the last Thursday in October. They operate on Thursday and Sunday and are renowned for the magnificent sunset over Mindil Beach and now attract many visitors each week.




Day 47, Monday 20/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 40 Kms
Campsite: Big 4 Howard Springs
Weather: Fine Hot 25-37C
Activities: Repairs to various items.
Most of the day was spent doing running repairs to various items. I broke the frame on my glasses but I managed to get a new frame to fit. Thanks to the health fund it was cheaper than getting them repaired which involved sending them away to Cairns. We also organized new cards at the bank and visited the camping store to get a part for the door handle and a new seal for the toilet.
The plastic surround of the toilet had a crack in it so I had to arrange for the plastic to be welded. The local plastic welder came to the campsite to do the repair.




Day 48, Tuesday 21/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 80 Kms
Campsite: Big 4 Howard Springs
Weather: Fine Hot 23.5-32C
Activities: Darwin Military Museum and East Point, organized vehicle service and storage
We visited the Darwin Military Museum and the Defence of Darwin Experience which provides visitors with an immersive, interactive and multimedia experience. It is the story of Darwin’s role in World War 11 and is dedicated to the period 1932-1945. The exhibition includes the Bombing of Darwin Gallery, iconic objects from that time, firsthand accounts and multimedia presentations. The Museum is situated at East Point Reserve and also features 9.2 inch gun emplacements, anti-submarine boom net, ammunition magazines, lookout towers, communication rooms, searchlight towers and command posts. The Museum is definitely worth the visit.



As the car is still under warranty I needed to book it in for an oil change with an official Landrover dealer. I was told I needed to book in a month in advance. Apparently that just about applies to most things up here. We also managed to find a storage area for our car and van for when we travel back home for a few weeks.


Day 49, Wednesday 22/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 80 Kms
Campsite: Big 4 Howard Springs
Weather: Fine Hot 24.5-36C
Activities: Visited local sights.
We visited the World War 11 Oil Storage Tunnels which were constructed in 1943 to protect Darwin’s oil supplies. The relic is a network of five steel-lined concrete tunnels with two tunnels open to the public and includes a display of photographs depicting life in wartime Darwin.



We then took a walk up to Survivor Point Lookout, Government House and Parliament House. We finished the day out with a late lunch at Stokes Hill Wharf and bought some fresh local seafood to enjoy later for dinner.
When we got back to the caravan and turned on the air conditioner, it came up with an error code. As the temperature was over 35C outside, the unit would drop the temperature within the caravan to about 28C and cut out the compressor delivering the cold air. The unit would come up with an E5 error code.
After searching through the webpage on Air Command air conditioners and checking out the DVD that came with the unit, I found that the external condenser was rising to a temperature of 68C at which time the compressor would cut out. Not having any way of accessing the roof area, we decided to call the local business that services the unit. I left a message for him to return my call. Fortunately for us, a refrigeration mechanic was staying in a caravan behind us who gave me some clues as to what could be the cause.

Day 50, Thursday 23/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 30 Kms
Campsite: Big 4 Howard Springs
Weather: Fine with afternoon storm, Hot 25-36C
Activities: More repairs.
Today started waiting for a call from the air conditioning business I had called the previous day. By 11.00AM, I had not heard anything so I decided to check out the air conditioner myself. Being an electrician by trade, I had the qualifications to check out the electricals of the unit which I through may be the problem.
I found that one of the condenser exhaust fans was not operating which would explain why the condenser on the roof was not able to expel the excessive heat during the day. We found that after 10.00PM at night, the outside temperature had dropped enough for the unit to work without dropping into fault mode but by the next morning when the temperature rose, the error code reappeared.
I decided to hire a step ladder from Kennards for the day and check out the unit. After removing the top lid of the unit, I noticed that on startup of the compressor, only one of the exhaust fans reached full speed with the other fan barely turning. I checked the fan that it spun freely and noticed a capacitor connected in circuit which probably helped with the speed control or initial start up.
I decided to drop down to the local Middy’s store and purchase a replacement capacitor. Back at the caravan, I wired in the new capacitor and hey presto, the fan worked correctly. I thought the wife will be happy after sweltering away the day in 35C+.
After refitting the cover back on the air conditioner and cooling down the van, it was time for a well deserved break.


Day 51, Friday 24/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 50 Kms
Campsite: Big 4 Howard Springs
Weather: Fine Cooler 22-36C
Activities: Returned the ladder and shopping
Today we recovered from the previous day and returned the ladder and purchased another capacitor just in case!


Day 52, Saturday 25/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 15 Kms
Campsite: Big 4 Howard Springs
Weather: Fine Cooler 25-30C
Activities: Restocked the caravan with food


Day 53, Sunday 26/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 60 Kms
Campsite: Big 4 Howard Springs
Weather: Fine Cooler 17-32C
Activities: Completed the blog, Visited the Museum and Art Gallery for the Northern Territory
I found both the section on Cyclone Tracey and the maritime area very interesting. It was a shame that the museum didn’t permit the taking of any photographs of the exhibits.
You wonder after looking at some of the boats in the maritime section how the boats floated let alone transported refugees to Australia. Some of the boats were pretty rough and ragged.
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Day 54, Monday 27/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 99Kms from Howard Springs to the Bark Hut Camping and Caravan Park located on the Arnhem Highway
Campsite: Bark Hut Camping and Caravan Park
Weather: Fine Cooler 21-33C
Activities: Took a cruise on the Adelaide River
We took a 1 hour cruise on the Adelaide River Queen to feed the many saltwater crocodiles located within 2 kilometres of the jetty. The crocs which were up to 6 metres long jumped out of the water to catch a feed of pork chops being fed to them from a long pole. The crocs are not in captivity but are free and living in their own natural environment in the river. As we left the jetty and travelled about 200 metres upstream, you could see the crocs coming towards the boat waiting for their 2 hourly feed.
The cruise was very worthwhile at $25 each and very entertaining.



Day 55, Tuesday 28/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 164 Kms from the Bark Hut Camping and Caravan Park to Merl camping area in Kakadu National Park.
Campsite: Merl Camping Ground : 12 25 30 S 132 57 26 E
Weather: Fine Cooler 20-33C
Activities: Phone calls and rocky outlook climb.
After leaving Bark Hut, we headed into Kakadu. It costs $25 each for access to the park for 14 days if you are not a Northern Teritorian.
It covers 20,000 square kilometres and is World Heritage listed for both its cultural and natural values. Saltwater crocodiles inhabit most areas of water in the park including the floodplains, freshwater billabongs, creeks, rivers and coastal areas. The only safe place to have a swim is the Jabiru swimming pool.
After setting up camp we drove into Jabiru to make some phone calls and paid a visit to the Bowali Visitor Centre.Jabiru is the main township in Kakadu and the visitor centre provides a wealth of information about Kakadu including videos, a library, displays and Aboriginal arts and crafts, books and gifts.
On the way back to our campsite we checked out Ubirr which is situated on the East Alligator River just east of the Merl Camping Area in the shadow of the magnificent Arnhem Land escarpment. A 1 km circular track takes you past several Aboriginal rock art sites and a moderately steep climb takes you to the top of a rocky lookout that offers spectacular views over the Nadab floodplain.



Day 56, Wednesday 29/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 36 kms from Merl Camping Area to Jabiru
Campsite:Kakadu Lodge and Campground
Weather: Fine 24-32C
Activities: Washing & emails.
We spent most of the day catching up on washing, emails, bills and phone calls.



Day 57, Thursday 30/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 80 kms
Campsite:Kakadu Lodge and Campground
Weather: Fine 23-33C
Cost of Diesel: $ 1.68Jabiru BP
Activities: Bush Walks.
We took a drive to the Nourlangie region and took a circular walk that takes you past an ancient Aboriginal shelter and several art sites. A moderately steep climb to the lookout provided us with an impressive view s of Kakadu’s escarpment.
Unfortunately, as the wet season waters had not receded enough we were unable to do the billabong or pool walks. We did however take a drive out to the Ranger Uranium mine. The mine is situated east just outside of Jabiru.

Day 58, Friday 31/5/2013
Distance travelled today: 187kms from Kakadu Lodge and Campground to Harriett Creek Rest Area.
Campsite: Harriet Creek Rest Area: 13 40 42 S 131 59 06 E
Weather: Fine 21-3C
Activities: Driving
We left Jabiru and had planned to explore the Yellow Water Wetlands which is part of the South Alligator River floodplains. You can do this via a boardwalk which provides good views of Yellow Water’s wildlife. Once again the waters had not receded so the only way to see the wildlife was by taking a boat cruise. $90 a head for a 2 hour cruise seemed a bit too much so we moved on.

Day 59, Saturday 1/6/2013
Distance travelled today: 143kms from Harriett Creek Rest Area to Adelaide River via Pine Creek
Campsite: Mt. Bundy Station: 13 13 39 S 131 08 02 E
Weather: Fine 18-33C
Cost of Diesel:Pine Creek $1.58 United
Activities: Driving and Exploring Historical Sites
After leaving our campsite we stopped for morning tea at Pine Creek. While there we explored the Miners Park and Railway precinct. The Miners Park has an outdoor display of historic mining machinery and mining equipment from old Pine Creek mines, together with interpretive signs, photographic displays and background information on mining history.


We had planned to stay at the Adelaide River Showground, but discovered it was turf racing day and it was completely booked out. Half of Darwin must have come down for the races. Mt Bundy Station was our next choice. It was also quite full, but we managed to get a nice unpowered site down on the river bank. You could also run the generator if you wanted.
One of our fellow campers was having trouble with one of the windows on his car so I spent some time helping him to sort out the problem. As I was passing by his car, he asked whether I was an auto electrician as he was having a problem getting his rear window to rise back to the closed position.
I gave him some hints as what to look for and eventually diagnosed a faulty switch.

Day 60, Sunday 2/6/2013
Distance travelled today: 6kms
Campsite: Mt Bundy Station
Weather: Fine 19-35
Activities: Visited Markets and Historical Sites
Since we were staying in Adelaide River for a few days and most of the campers were vacating we decided to move our van up to a powered site. We found a lovely shady spot and booked in for 3 more nights. If you stayed for 3 you got the 4th night free.
After setting up camp in the new spot we drove into town to check out the local markets. The markets are on four times a week and are very popular and even though it was close to finishing time there were people everywhere. From there we made our way to the Adelaide River War Cemetery.
The Adelaide River War Cemetery was created especially for the burial of servicemen and women who died in this part of Australia. After the war, the Army Graves Service moved graves from civil cemeteries, isolated sites and temporary military burial grounds, into the Adelaide River War Cemetery. The War Cemetery adjoins the Adelaide River Civil Cemetery, in which are buried the nine Darwin Post Office workers who were killed on 19 February 1942 as a result of a direct hit on the Post Office by Japanese bombs. It was a very moving experience mainly noting the young ages of the troops that died.
We returned to our campsite and later that afternoon a Shetland pony on the station had her foal just behind the back of the caravan. Mother and baby are doing well and spend their days wandering freely around the station entertaining adults and children alike.



Day 61, Monday 3/6/2013
Distance travelled today: 5 kms
Campsite: Mt Bundy Station
Weather: Fine 18-30C
Activities: Fishing & Visiting Historical Sites
Today, I went on a 3hr fishing trip hoping to get a barramundi. There were 5 eager fishermen in the party including the guide named Alan. Alan transported us in his 4WD to a spot on Burrell Creek in the back of Bundy Station. From there, he checked his pots he had previously placed the previous day for some live bait. After moving on to the fishing spot, he demonstrated how to set up our lines and set a live bait, He then cast the line into the billabong and handed another fisherman the rod.
Within 5 minutes, a barramundi was landed. The guide told him to throw it back as it was just legal. One by one each of us had a line cast for us and my turn came for a strike. It was a small Saratoga which I returned to the water. There were several further strikes by the other fishermen but no fish of any size until Laurie landed a barramundi about 750mm in length. That was the only fish taken home. Maybe next time.

After lunch we explored the Railway Heritage Museum. The museum grounds provide shaded areas for picnics or just relaxing. It is maintained and run by volunteers whose aim is to protect and preserve the remnants of the North Australia Railway. You can view the original 1888 Refreshments Rooms and residence and two restored Sidney Williams Huts. Four thousand Sidney Williams Huts were used by the Defence Force during WW2.

Day 62, Tuesday 4/6/2013
Distance travelled today: 5 kms
Campsite: Mt Bundy Station
Weather: Fine 16-30C
Activities: Washing of clothes and Vehicles
After a nice sleep in we decided to have lunch at the Adelaide River Inn. Charlie the Buffalo who starred in Crocodile Dundee is now stuffed and standing in the Inn. He’s quite an impressive beast.

Day 63, Wednesday 5/6/2013
Distance travelled today: 55 kms from Bundy station,Adelaide River to Batchelor
Campsite:Litchfield Tourist Park, Batchelor
Weather: Fine 17.5-30C
Activities: Set up camp, phone calls to friends and relatives. Purchased supplies in Batchelor. Set up satellite dish for TV. State of Origin
Litchfield Tourist Park located about 13 kms from Batchelor



Day 64, Thursday 6/6/2013
Distance travelled today: 68 kms
Campsite:Wangi Falls Campground, Litchfield National Park
Weather: Fine 21-31C
Activities: Set up camp, walk to Wangi Falls



Day 65 Friday 7/6/2013
Distance travelled today: 30 kms approximately
Campsite:Wangi Falls Campground, Litchfield National Park
Weather: Fine 23.5-34C
Activities: Visited Walkers Creek and falls. Swim at Wangi Falls
We went for a drive to Walkers Creek which is located about 15 km’s past Wangi Falls turnoff. We decided to take a walk up the creek which has 8 campsites along the way. From the carpark, the trail was about 1.75 km long with a moderate grade uphill. The stream was crystal clear with a number of small waterfalls and plunge pools along the way. There was a larger plunge pool at the last campsite above the waterfall. Next time we will have to wear our togs when we go for a walk as the water looked so inviting.
Got back to camp and decided to take a dip at the falls 300m from camp. The water was clear and very refreshing. This was followed with an iceblock at the local café.

Day 66 Saturday 8/6/2013
Distance travelled today: 0 kms
Campsite:Wangi Falls Campground, Litchfield National Park
Weather: Fine 18-34C
Activities: Relaxing day reading

Day 67 Sunday 9/6/2013
Distance travelled today: 0 kms
Campsite:Wangi Falls Campground, Litchfield National Park
Weather: Fine 19-34C
Activities: Relaxing day reading and swimming
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Day 68 Monday 10/6/2013
Distance travelled today: 141 kms from Wangi Falls to Howard Springs
Campsite: Big 4 Howard Springs
Weather: Fine 22-32C
Activities: Set up camp, shopping for supplies, collected telescopic ladder
After leaving Wangi Falls, we stopped at the magnetic ant hills on the way out of Litchfield National Park. The ant hills are aligned north to south to prevent a build up of heat during the middle of the day. Nearby there are large cathedral ant hills which dot the countryside in the Northern Territory.

After arriving back at Howard Springs, we collected our mail and proceeded to our campsite for the night. We unpacked the ladder and tried it against the van. At long last I can get quick access to clean the solar panels, now I just have to find a space to store it.


Day 69 Tuesday 11/6/2013
Distance travelled today: 22 kms, Howard Springs to Saddle Park, Leanyer
Campsite: Saddle Park, Leanyer
Weather: Fine 22-32C
Activities: Set up camp, shopping for auto parts and fuel

Day 70 Wednesday 12/6/2013
Distance travelled today: 3 kms,
Campsite: Saddle Park, Leanyer
Weather: Fine 22-32C
Activities: Time for haircuts, checking solar panels and tried to adjust the brakes on Maria’s bike
I dropped into the local hairdresser for a trim and left Maria there for a couple of hours. I rode back to camp on Maria’s folding bike and found that I couldn’t get out of first gear. Lucky it was all downhill. I unsuccessfully tried to adjust the gears but found that the cable may have been damaged.
Gave up on the bike and decided to check that all of the solar panels were working now that I had access to the roof of the caravan with the help of my new telescopic extension ladder. I found that all of the panels were working but not to the extent that I hoped. From my two 95 Watt and one 125Watt panel on the roof of the caravan and 140Watt folding panel, I had hoped to get nearly 27 amps but so far all I have achieved is 20 Amps.
The lack of current maybe because of the combination of the heat in the north at this time of the year and the elevation of the panels on the roof of the caravan not being perfect.

Day 71 Thursday 13/6/2013
Distance travelled today: 120 kms,
Campsite: Saddle Park, Leanyer
Weather: Fine 22=32C
Activities: Shopping, Fishing and sight seeing
We dropped the bike off for repairs and went shopping for some additional fishing gear before searching for a fishing spot at Lees Point and Nightcliffe. I attempted to catch a fish off the shore at Nightcliffe. With no success I decided to drive around the foreshore before going to the Trailer Boat Club located at Fannie Bay for lunch.
After lunch, we had a drive through town and dropped back into the Fish Co-op near fisherman’s wharf for some prawns before continuing on a drive to the East Arm. On the way, we checked out an artillery post from WW2 called the Quarantine Station.

Day 72 Friday 14/6/2013
Distance travelled today:10 kms,
Campsite: Saddle Park, Leanyer
Weather: Fine
Activities: Updated the blog and collected the bike. Went to my auntie’s cousin for a BBQ


Day 73 Saturday 16/6/2013
Distance travelled today:0 kms,
Campsite: Saddle Park, Leanyer
Weather: Fine
Activities: Preparing to fly home for some R & R from sightseeing


SECOND LEG OF OUR JOURNEY
Darwin to Perth via the Kimberley and WA coast and then onto Tasmania by November
Day 1-10
10th July 2013- 19h July 2013

Since arriving back in Darwin on the 10th July, we have had a few problems to delay our departure. Firstly when we arrived back at the park at 1.30 am where we had left our van, we couldn’t get into the caravan because I had parked the car under the awning to stop bird droppings. When we went to shift the car, we found that the battery was flat. To make things worse, the only access into the car was through the left passenger door which was a couple of inches from the caravan. After a bit of thought, it was another taxi trip back to the airport for five hours waiting for the sun to rise. When we got back to the park, another caravanner towed the Landrover sideways so that we could get into the car and caravan. After 5 hours of charging the battery and a bit of sleep, we finally shifted the car from under the awning.


The next couple of days involved installing an internet aerial to the roof of the caravan, installing another antenna for the tyre monitor on the car and installing a battery monitor to the caravan.
On Tuesday, I went fishing and crabbing in a tinnie with 3 fellas in the park to Leaders Creek, NE of Darwin. In the four hours we caught about 15 cat fish and a number of small bait fish. Still no Barramundi. We also landed 15 mud crabs which are quite plentiful up here.

We visited the Aviation Museum where an American B52 bomber is housed with a number of smaller fighter aircraft. It was a very interesting display but I gave up trying to take a single photograph of the B52 as it was so huge.

We were about to leave to continue our travels on Thursday morning but found that the battery charger had died in the caravan. I rang Alan who is a good friend of ours and he went out of his way to order us a new charger. You wouldn’t believe but it turned up the next day which is unheard of up here.

Day 11
Saturday 20th July 2013
Distance Travelled: 370 kms
Cost of Diesel: $1.65 litre Woolworths Petrol
Temperature Range: 20-32C
Activities:
We left Saddle Park in the morning and travelled directly to Katherine where we refuelled and reprovisioned before heading for a free campsite at Vince Connely Rest Area on the Victoria Highway. After setting up, we chatted with another two couples from Queensland.

Day 12
Sunday 21st July 2013
Distance Travelled: 138
Cost of Diesel: $1.90 Victoria River Roadhouse
Temperature Range: 20-31C
Activities:
We left Vince Connely Rest Area and travelled along the Victoria Highway until we arrived at the Victoria River Roadhouse where we set up camp for the night. The caravan park is situated on the western side of the river about 300 metres from the riverbank. As you enter the valley, the escarpments grow on both sides of the highway to heights over one hundred metres. We finished the afternoon by going for a walk to the river and checking out the fish. From the old bridge, you could see a number of large catfish around the pylons beneath the bridge. In no time, I was back trying my luck with the lures I had purchased in Darwin. No luck this time.

Day 13
Monday 22nd July 2013
Distance Travelled: 0 kms
Cost of Diesel:
Temperature Range: 19-30C
Activities: Worked on our itinery in the morning and walked to the base of the escarpment about 2 kms from the roadhouse in the late afternoon.

Day 14
Tuesday 23rd July 2013
Distance Travelled: 163 kms
Cost of Diesel: $1.95 & $2.05 at Timber Creek
Temperature Range: 17-32C
Activities:
We left Victoria River Roadhouse and travelled to East Baines River Rest Area via Timber Creek. Just after leaving Victoria River, we tackled the escarpment climb to the top overlooking the roadhouse and views of the river and escarpment to the west. It was a moderate climb and well worth the effort. I would recommend tackling it in the early morning to miss the afternoon temperatures.
When we arrived at Timber Creek which is a small township on the Victoria Highway of approx. 70 persons, we checked out the local shop and fuel prices. We didn't believe the 10c difference per litre for diesel between the 2 service stations only 100 metres apart.

We then caught up with some phone calls as there is no internet reception between Katherine and Timber Creek before heading off for our planned campsite at Big Horse campground 10 kms west of town. When we arrived, we found the camping area full so we headed for the next rest area which was East Baines River. Luckily there was still space to set up camp before dusk arrived. After finishing our meal, we prepared all our remaining vegetables for the freezer before heading through the quarantine checkpoint in the morning.

Day 15
Wednesday 24th July 2013
Distance travelled: 146 kms
Cost of Diesel: $ 2.04 at Lake Argyle
Temperature Range: 17-26C
Activities: After a cool night, we travelled from East Baines River campsite on the Victoria Highway to the caravan park at Argyle Dam in Western Australia.
On the way, we passed through some outstanding scenery before coming to the Western Australia border quarantine checkpoint. The quarantine officer was quite thorough in checking out the van and car for any prohibited plants, seeds, soil, fruit, vegetables or honey before allowing us to pass.

As we crossed the border and left the highway before heading south towards Lake Argyle, we could not believe the speed limit of 110km/hr that was allowed on the road. The road was ok but was barely wide enough for 2 caravans to pass in most places. The scenery once again was quite rugged with mountain ranges on both sides of the road leading into the dam.
After following 3 other caravans we set up camp in the unpowered section of the park as I didn't think the temperature was going to climb high enough to warrant air conditioning.

The rest of the day was taken up with setting up camp and working on the blog.


Day 16
Thursday 25th July 2013
Campsite: Lake Argyle Caravan Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 16 06 42.4 S 128 44.27.6 E
Distance travelled: 203kms
Cost of Camping Site: $30:00 un-powered
Temperature Range: 17-28C
Activities: Travelled into Kununurra for shopping and visited the information centre
We travelled 64kms into Kununurra to stock up on vegetables and groceries as they were getting quite low. Kununurra is quite a modern township being built in the last fifty years and has a population of over 7500.


Day 17
Friday 26th July 2013
Campsite: Lake Argyle Caravan Park
Campsite Co-ordinates:
Cost of Camping Site:$30:00 un-powered
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range: 17-28C
Activities: Cruised on Lake Argyle on a 50ft sailing cat
Today we went on a half day cruise on a 50ft sailing cat on Lake Argyle with our friends Ian & Hilary from TSCQ. The lake is the largest fresh water lake in Australia with a size exceeding 9 times the size of Sydney Harbour. A great day was had by all.

Day 18
Saturday 27th July 2013
Campsite: Lake Argyle Caravan Park
Campsite Co-ordinates:
Cost of Camping Site:$30:00 un-powered
Distance travelled: 10 kms
Temperature Range: 17-30C
Activities: Visited the Durack Homestead, the dam lookout and the base of the dam wall
We visited the Durack Homestead located within walking distance of the caravan park. The homestead offered a fascinating insight into the lives of the early pioneers in the Kimberley. The 1880's home was the former home of the Durack Family who were a prominent pastoral family in the area. The original homestead sat on the Argyle Downs Station and was moved in the 1970's following the construction of Lake Argyle. It was carefully dismantled and reconstructed stone by stone at its present site.

Following our visit to the Durack homestead, we progressed to the viewing lookout overlooking Lake Argyle and the dam wall. You could see for miles.
We then ventured to the base of the dam wall opposite the hydro station which was commissioned in 1996. The hydro station has a generation capacity of 30MW and an annual energy output of 220GWH.

Day 19
Sunday 28th July 2013
Campsite: Hidden Valley Caravan Park Kununurra
Campsite Co-ordinates: 15 45 54.4 S 128 44 47.6 E
Cost of Camping Site: $32:00 Powered
Distance travelled: 64kms
Cost of Diesel: $1.716 at the Co-op on Weaber Plains Rd.
Temperature Range: 17-32C
Activities: Travelled from Lake Argyle to Kununurra and visited Wyndham, 200kms return and the Zebra Rock Gallery.
After setting up camp in the cramped confines of the powered section of the park, we set off for a drive to Wyndham which is located approximately 100kms away. Firstly you head in a western direction for about 45kms to the Halls Creek intersection and then head north for a further 55kms before coming into the port town of Wyndham on the Cambridge Gulf. While in town, we visited the Big Croc, a 20 metre long statue, the new fishing wharf and the Five Rivers Lookout, 330 metres above sea level on the Bastion Range and just out of town. The road to the top is sealed all the way but you have to leave your caravan at the parking area at the base due to the many hairpin bends on the way up.
What a view from the lookout. You can see where the Durack, Ord, Forrest, King and Pentacost rivers flow into the Cambridge Gulf.

After travelling back to Kununurra in the afternoon, we visited the Zebra Rock gallery about 15 kms out of town. The gallery is located on the banks of the diversion dam with views of Elephant Rock in the distance. While on site, we fed the fish off the jetty with bread that was supplied with your entry fee. There were hundreds of catfish and black bream fighting for their last meal or so you would think. The zebra stone is coloured like a zebra with black and white stripes running through the grain of the rock. There was a large quantity of jewelry and souvenirs on display for sale.

Day 20
Monday 29th July 2013
Campsite: Cockburn Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates: 15 52 07 S 128 22 17 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 45kms from Kununurra to Cockburn Rest area
Cost of Diesel: $1.919 Shell Roadhouse at Kununurra
Temperature Range: 17-35C
Activities: Visited the Hochery and Sandalwood Factory ay Kununurra. Drove out to the campsite at Cockburn Rest area
Early in the morning after leaving Hidden Valley, we headed off to the Hochery, WA oldest legal distillery located out of town on the Weaber Plains Road in the Ord Valley. From there we backtracked to the Sandalwood factory where we purchased a number of items from the beauty range of cosmetics. By this time, it was back to Kununurra for some last minute shopping before travelling from Kununurra to the Cockburn Rest area located near the intersection of the Halls Creek Road and Wyndham road and set up camp for the night.

Day 21
Tuesday 30th July 2013
Campsite: Cockburn Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates: 15 52 07 S 128 22 17 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 108 kms into Elquestro Station & Emma Gorge
Cost of Diesel: $2.20 at El Questro station
Temperature Range: 21-32C
Activities: Day trip to El Questro station and Emma Gorge
Today we ventured into Emma Gorge Resort with the caravan in tow with the intention of camping at the Station at El Questro. The road out to Emma Gorge is sealed all the way to the turnoff and then unsealed for 2kms into the resort and gorge. On the way in to the resort, there are two streams we had to go through but didn't have any problems with the rear of the caravan dragging on the rocks. After paying the $40 for the Wilderness pass, we unhitched the caravan in the parking area and drove the further 26kms to the Station at El Questro.

The first 10kms was on sealed road to the entrance and then 16kms into the station on a corrugated blue metal unsealed road. The road in was quite bearable but just before the Station, there were 2 streams which you had to ford which was approximately 300mm deep with steep entrances and exits. I felt that my caravan had too much overhang so we decided not to bring the caravan in. The other deciding factor was the cost of an un-powered campsite was $40 a night so we decided that we would take the van back to the Cockburn Rest area and travel from there each day.

Before leaving the area, we travelled back to Emma Gorge and walked up the gorge for a well deserved swim in the rock pool at the head of the gorge. The walk was quite rough but well worth the effort.

Day 22
Wednesday 31st July 2013
Campsite: Cockburn Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates: 15 52 07 S 128 22 17 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 200kms
Cost of Diesel: $1.70 Wyndham
Temperature Range: 21-33C
Activities:
Today we headed back into El Questro to visit Zebedee Springs, El Questro Gorge before refuelling at Wyndham.
Zebedee Springs is located off the main road into El Questro, a short distance down a dirt track to the carpark. There is a short walk up a track to the small area which is the Springs. I had a dip in the warm water which is constantly at 28-32C just like a bathtub.
After leaving the Springs, we headed back on the road into El Questro for a short distance before heading into El Questro Gorge which is a 4WD track. On the way in, there are two water crossings, one of which was 500mm deep at the time of our crossing. The crossing was about 30 metres long.
After leaving the car at the carpark, there was a walk of about one hour up the palm and fern clad escarpment to the first small swimming hole. The track is rough but well worth the effort.
After leaving El Questro, we headed back into Wyndham to refuel before returning to Cockburn Rest Area for the night.

Day 23
Thursday 1st August 2013
Campsite: Bungle Bungles Caravan Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 17 26 14.9 S 127 59 56.1 E
Cost of Camping Site: $35.00 for an un-powered site, $20.00 storage per night
Distance travelled: 218kms from Cockburn Rest Area to Bungle Bungles caravan park
Cost of Diesel: $2.13 Turkey Creek (Warmun)
Temperature Range: 17- 34C
Activities:
Today we travelled from Cockburn Rest Area to Bungle Bungles caravan park passing through Warmun (Turkey Creek). There was a picnic area at Warmun adjacent to the Roadhouse. Warmun is also a major destination for flights into the Bungle Bungles by helicopter and fixed wing aircraft.
When we arrived at the Bungle Bungle caravan park, we couldn't get a powered site and had to settle with an unpowered site. At least there was water on site and you were permitted to run your generator for a certain time period. We were surprised to find that there was Telstra internet and phone coverage in the area. We organised to leave the caravan onsite for two days while we went into the Bungles to camp.


Day 24
Friday 2nd August 2013
Campsite:Kurrajong Campground, Bungle Bungles
Campsite Co-ordinates: 17 23 20 S 128 19 50 E
Cost of Camping Site: $16.00 unpowered
Distance travelled: 57kms
Temperature Range: 14-32C
Activities:
Today we travelled from Bungle Bungle Caravan park to Kurrajong Campground in the Bungle Bungles after leaving our caravan in storage at the caravan park.
The drive into the Bungle is along a graded dirt road which is corrugated with many twists and turns along the way. You have to watch out for a number of blind crests and keep your speed down to between 30-50kph. Once into the National Park, the road improves but is still corrugated in a number of places.

After setting up camp, we visited Echidna Chasm 15kms north of the campsite. The walk into Echidna Chasm was a 2km return, with a spectacular 200 metre chasm with varying hues.

Day 25
Saturday 3rd August 2013
Campsite: Kurrajong Campground,Bungle Bungles
Campsite Co-ordinates: 17 23 20 S 128 19 50 E
Cost of Camping Site: $16.00 unpowered
Distance travelled:
Temperature Range: 10-32C
Activities:
Today we visited Cathedral Gorge and the Domes, 32kms south of the campsite. The Cathedral Gorge is a moderate two km return walk allowing more than an hour to walk through the banded domes, pebbles and potholes, towering cliffs and honeycomb rock that lead through to an amphitheatre.


Day 26
Sunday 4th August 2013
Campsite: Leycesters Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates: 17 28 45 S 127 57 04 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 64 kms
Temperature Range: 10-32C
Activities:
Today we travelled from Kurrajong Campground in the Bungle Bungles to Leycesters Rest Area north of the Ord River after collecting the caravan at the caravan park. We were initially going to camp at Spring creek rest area at the entrance to the road into the Bungles but found it full at about 1.00pm so we continued onto Leycesters rest area 7 kms down the road.


Day 27
Monday 5th August 2013
Campsite: Mary Pool Rest Area, Mary River
Campsite Co-ordinates: 18 43 37 S 126 52 19 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 201
Cost of Diesel: $1.845
Temperature Range: 10-32C
Activities:
Today we travelled from Leycesters Rest Area to Mary Pool Rest Area on the Mary River passing through Halls Creek. Halls Creek is a town of about 5000 persons with an IGA supermarket, fuel station, bakery, chemist, butcher and a number of other stores.
We needed to refill with water but found that we had to buy it from the Information Centre at 20c per litre. After refilling the water tanks and refuelling, we headed off for Mary Pool.

The entrance into Mary Pool is via a concrete causeway across the Mary River. At the time, the river was not flowing with only some remaining pools. The rest area was located next to the river with a large area amongst the trees.
There were plenty of rubbish bins, a toilet and dump point. There was no water on site but there was Telstra phone and internet reception.

Day 28
Tuesday 6th August 2013
Campsite: Tarunda Caravan Park, Fitzroy Crossing
Campsite Co-ordinates: 18.193621 S 125.568748 E
Cost of Camping Site: $31.00 powered
Distance travelled: 180kms
Temperature Range: 11-32C
Activities:
Today we travelled from Mary Pool to Fitzroy Crossing and stopped at the Tarunda Caravan Park.
Maria caught up with the washing which had built up over the past week and I caught up with some maintainence issues with the caravan.

Day 29
Wednesday 7th August 2013
Campsite: Tarunda Caravan Park, Fitzroy Crossing
Campsite Co-ordinates: 18.193621 S 125.568748 E
Cost of Camping Site: $31.00 powered
Distance travelled: 30kms
Cost of Diesel: $1.845
Temperature Range: 13- 32C
Activities: Visited Geikie Gorge 15kms out of town

Today we caught up with some friends we'd met along the way and together we took a 1 hour guided cruise through the Geikie Gorge. The limestone gorge has been carved by the Fitzroy River and the tranquil waters abound with fish, birds and freshwater crocodiles. This was a very enjoyable cruise and with a concession discount cost $21.50 each.

Day 30
Thursday 8th August 2013
Campsite: Kimberley Entrance Caravan Park, Derby
Campsite Co-ordinates: 17 18 25S 123 37 46E
Cost of Camping Site: $34.00 unpowered
Distance travelled:
Cost of Diesel: $1.82 BP
Temperature Range: 13- 34C
Activities:
Travelled from Fitzroy Crossing to Derby

Derby has a population of about 5,000 and is most well known for having Australia's highest tidal range and the second highest in the southern hemisphere. The tidal variations can be as much as 11 metres.

Before restocking our supplies we decided to check out the Derby Wharf and jetty. It is a popular place for seeing the sunset over King Sound and there were quite a few fishermen trying their luck on the incoming tide. It wasn't far off high tide and there was a very strong current stirring up the waters.

Day 31
Friday 9th August 2013
Campsite: Kimberley Entrance Caravan Park, Derby
Campsite Co-ordinates: 17 18 25S 123 37 46E
Cost of Camping Site: $34.00 Unpowered
Distance travelled: 362kms
Cost of Diesel: $1.82 BP
Temperature Range: 15- 34C
Activities:
Travelled from Derby to Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek.
Today, we decided to take the long drive out to Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek National Parks. The parks are approximately 140 & 180 kilometres from Derby and are accessed by bitumen and corrugated dirt roads.

The 750 metre tunnel at Tunnel Creek is entered over some large rocks and to continue on through the tunnel a torch and water shoes are needed. Fish and freshwater crorodiles inhabit the waters of the tunnel. The water in the tunnel was about 450mm at the deepest point that I encountered. I didn't spot any crocs during the walk.

We drove back to Winjana Gorge and after some lunch we took a walk through the gorge. This gorge had the most amount of freshwater crocodiles we have yet seen. In one area alone there were at least 60 sunning themselves on the bank with others relaxing in the water.

We returned to Derby and enjoyed a takeaway barra and chip meal for dinner.

Day 32
Saturday 10th August 2013
Campsite: Nillibubbica Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates: 17 39 20S 123 07 58E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 214kms
Temperature Range: 16- 34C
Activities:
Travelled from Derby to Nillibubbica Rest Area
Before leaving Derby we decided to check out the jetty at low tide and the Boab Prison Tree. What a difference 10 metres make to a tide.
The boab tree is believed to be 1500 years old and was used as a staging point for prisoners being walked into Derby in the early days.

We then travelled onto Nillibubbica Rest Area for the night. There were plenty of rubbish bins, a toilet and dump point. There was no water on site but there was Telstra phone and internet reception.
We finished the evening with a roast chicken and veges around the camp fire.

Day 33
Sunday 11th August 2013
Campsite: PCYC Broome
Campsite Co-ordinates: 17 58 15S 132 15 56E
Cost of Camping Site: $230 for 7 days with limited power
Distance travelled:
Temperature Range: 17- 32C
Activities:

We left the rest area and made our way to Broome which sits on a 15km long peninsula that juts out into the Indian Ocean. It is 2,389km north of Perth and 1,859km south-west of Darwin.Broome is home to the world's finest cultured pearls, the world's oldest operating outdoor picture theatre and one of the world's top 5 beaches. It is also known for its Staircase to the Moon. This natural phenomenon takes place from March to October. It is caused by the rising of the full moon reflecting off the exposed mudflats at extremely low tide thus creating a beautiful optical illusion of stairs reaching to the moon.
We set up camp at the PCYC for a week and the rest of the afternoon was spent setting up the satellite dish so we could catch the Sunday afternoon football game in Brisbane. While a casserole was cooking we caught up again with some friends we'd met during our travels.

Day 34
Monday 12th August 2013
Campsite: PCYC Broome
Campsite Co-ordinates: 17 58 15S 132 15 56E
Cost of Camping Site: $230 for 7 days with limited power
Distance travelled:
Temperature Range: 17- 33C
Activities:
We visited the information centre to get any paperwork we might need on the area and then took a stroll through Chinatown. We returned to the caravan for lunch and looked after a neighbour's dog while they went out to do a bit of shopping.

Upon their return and because it was still quite hot we decided to take a drive out to the Port and Cable Beach.Cable Beach is known for its 22 kms of pure white sand and was named after the telegraph cable that was installed between Broome and Java in 1889.
There is vehicle access to the beach.

Day 35
Tuesday 13th August 2013
Campsite: PCYC Broome
Campsite Co-ordinates: 17 58 15S 132 15 56E
Cost of Camping Site: $230 for 7 days with limited power
Distance travelled:
Temperature Range: 18- 32C
Activities: Updated Blog

This morning we caught up with the washing and the blog. After lunch we took a drive to Matsos, the Kimberley's award winning micro-brewery where I was able to sample some of their award winning beers. From there we returned to the campsite where I gave the car a really good wash while Maria did some ironing.

Day 36
Wednesday 14th August 2013
Campsite: PCYC Broome
Campsite Co-ordinates: 17 58 15S 132 15 56E
Cost of Camping Site: $230 for 7 days with limited power
Distance travelled:
Temperature Range: 19- 33C
Activities:
We had an early lunch and then set off to explore the Broome Historical Museum. The museum was opened in 1981 and has displays that the cover early life in Broome, the history of the local Aboriginal people, pearling, communications, law and order and Broome's Air Raids from WW11 to name a few. From there we walked around the areas of Chinatown we hadn't already seen.


Day 37
Thursday 15th August 2013
Campsite: PCYC Broome
Campsite Co-ordinates: 17 58 15S 132 15 56E
Cost of Camping Site: $230 for 7 days with limited power
Distance travelled:
Temperature Range: 20- 32C
Activities:
While Maria went out for an appointment in town, I spent most of the day planning some more of our trip. We finished the day by having dinner with our friends at the PCYC. Every Thursday the PCYC put on a dinner under the stars on their basketball court. It is a three course meal which costs $4 for entree or dessert and $12 for the main.There were quite a few takers for the meal that night.

Day 38
Friday 16th August 2013
Campsite: PCYC Broome
Campsite Co-ordinates: 17 58 15S 132 15 56E
Cost of Camping Site: $230 for 7 days with limited power
Distance travelled:
Temperature Range: 20- 31C
Activities:
We made a trip 20kms out of town to visit a mango farm. It is set in tranquil surrounds where you are able to sample some of their mango products. They have a nice array of gift ideas and are also well known for having the best wood-fired pizzas in Broome. We settled for a mango smoothie and home made mango icecream.

Time to prepare for travelling on with the caravan receiving its first wash since Darwin.

Day 39
Saturday 17th August 2013
Campsite: PCYC Broome
Campsite Co-ordinates: 17 58 15S 132 15 56E
Cost of Camping Site: $230 for 7 days with limited power
Distance travelled: 10kms
Temperature Range: 20- 32C
Activities:
We visited the Saturday Markets in Broome and shopped for materials for additions to the car and repairs to the gas stove. The safety switch in the caravan kept tripping the night before and I discovered that the 240v cord had been damaged. After repairing the cord and replacing the plugtop, everything was sweet.

Day 40
Sunday 18th August 2013
Campsite: Goldwire Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates: 18 36 14 S 121 57 59 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 155kms
Temperature Range: 20-35
Cost of Diesel: $1.649 with 4c disc. At Woolworths Petrol
Activities:
Started the day with restocking the caravan and refuelling. Travelled from Broome to Goldwire Rest Area. Set up camp and updated the blog. Internet available with the help of the aerial on the roof.
We cooked our chicken roast outside again and finished the day enjoying the night sky by our own campfire.

Day 41
Monday 19th August 2013
Campsite: De Grey River Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates: 20 18 28 S 119 15 06 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 380kms
Temperature Range: 20-34C
Cost of Diesel: $1.888 at Pardoo Roadhouse
Activities:
Travelled from Goldwire Rest area to De Grey River rest area along the Great Northern Highway. The highway is mainly flat and in good condition throughout this section of the route. The scenery consists of stunted trees common to the Kimberley's with the first signs of the native flowers coming into bloom. There are two roadhouses along the route being Sandfire and the Pardoo Roadhouse. We partially refuelled at the Pardoo Roadhouse leaving us enough fuel to reach Port Headland where we hope the price will be cheaper.

After arriving on site at the De Grey rest area, we ventured down a good dirt road a few hundred metres until the tee intersection near the powerlines and turned right and found a great site near the river. It was the first site where we found the area covered in couch between the trees. We had limited internet with the use of our extended aerial.

Day 42
Tuesday 20th August 2013
Campsite: De Grey River Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates: 20 18 28 S 119 15 06 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: Nil
Cost of Diesel: $1.569 with 4c disc from Woolworths
Temperature Range: 16-
Activities: Kayaking, Fishing in the De Grey River and reading
Today I tried my hand at fishing and kayaking in the river. The river still had a reasonable flow with sandbanks in the middle of the river upstream from the railway bridge. I decided to disembark from the kayak and try lure fishing with no results. I then ventured downstream casting into the snags with still no results. Anyway I still had a good time in the kayak.

Day 43
Wednesday 21st August 2013
Campsite: Sherlock River Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates: 20.944364 S 117.613099 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 197kms
Temperature Range: 20-32 C
Activities:
We left De Grey River rest area and made our way to a free campsite on the Sherlock River. Along the way we stopped and looked around Port Hedland. The area of Port Hedland is divided into three;Port Hedland where the port facilities, coastal and cultural activities are located; South Hedland the main residential area and Wedgefield which holds most of the town's light industry.

Port Hedland is one of the world's largest and busiest working harbours with massive ore- carriers and salt ships of up to 260,000 tonnes and over 230 metres in length which can all be viewed from the centre of town. You can't miss the massive salt plains and salt piles that act as a gateway to town or BHP Billiton's trains, some of the longest in the world.

After filling up the water tanks we continued on to our free campsite on the Sherlock River. It is only a small campsite situated on the banks of the river. This river did however have a plentiful supply of water and lots of birdlife.

Day 44
Thursday 22nd August 2013
Campsite: Dampier Transit Caravan Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 20.652763 S 116.715767 E
Cost of Camping Site: $28 night powered
Distance travelled: 126kms
Temperature Range: 21-33C
Activities:
We left Sherlock River and made our way to Dampier via Roebourne and Karratha. Many fine historic stone buildings still remain in Roebourne and the Old Gaol is a perfect example. It was built in 1880's/1890's and is now a museum, the visitor centre and has displays by arts and crafts groups and is well worth the visit.

Next stop was Karratha where we were able to do our absentee vote for the upcoming federal election. The town was established in 1968 in response to the continued development of the Hamersley Iron operations and the nearby Dampier Salt project. It is a very modern town offering
air-conditioned major retail stores with all the facilities situated in the town centre and is home to an estimated 24,000 people.

After setting up camp in the Dampier caravan park we set off to explore the town. Named after William Dampier who explored the North West Coast in 1699, the port was developed in 1963 and it overlooks the ocean and the islands of the Dampier Archipelago, 42 altogether. The lookout offers great views of the whole area. After dinner at the local hotel we found we still had time to make the drive out to Hearson's Cove to witness the Staircase to the Moon, the natural phenomenon created by a full moon rising over mud flats on a low tide creating the illusion of a staircase leading to the moon. We were joined by lots of others to catch this special event.

Day 45
Friday 23rd August 2013
Campsite: Dampier Transit Caravan Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 20.652763 S 116.715767 E
Cost of Camping Site: $28 night powered
Temperature Range: 21-35C
Activities:
We stopped off at the bronze memorial of Red Dog, one of the best known and loved travellers in the North West to get the appropriate photo. From there we went to the North West Shelf Project Visitors Centre to learn all about Australia's largest oil and gas developments. It supplies oil and gas to Australian and international markets from huge offshore gas and condensate fields. The visitors centre overlooks the Karratha Gas Plant and has lots of models, displays and DVDs explaining its whole operation. Definitely worth the visit.
After spending a good deal of time at the visitors centre we then drove into Karratha to restock our supplies.

Day 46
Saturday 24th August 2013
Campsite: Barradale Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates: 22 51 49 S 114 57 05 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 348 kms
Temperature Range: 21- 32C
Activities:
We set off on a fairly long drive to the Barradale Rest Area. There isn't much to see on this part of the highway but we found the rest area covered quite a large dusty area with a lot of travellers already set up for the night. We shared the area with some wandering cows.

Day 47
Sunday 25th August 2013
Campsite: Yardie Homestead Caravan Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 21.887952 S 114.013345 E
Cost of Camping Site: $30 unpowered
Distance travelled: 276 kms
Cost of Diesel: $1.869 Exmouth Caltex
Temperature Range: 15-31C
Activities:
This morning we set off for Exmouth and went straight to the Visitors Centre.Exmouth is the gateway to the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area and has 320 days of sunshine each year. The Marine Park is Australia's largest and most accessible fringing reef system. The shallow lagoons and the offshore waters have a multitude of colourful corals and more than 500 species of fish. Many other creatures are found in the park including whale sharks, turtles, dugongs, dolphins, manta rays and humpback whales.

We were planning to stay in the Cape Range National Park for a few days but upon arrival at the Visitors Centre we discovered it was full and the only way to get in was to lineup early the next morning for the ranger to allocate sites to first in first served. After a bite to eat and filling up our water tanks at the visitors centre we decided we would head for Yardie Homestead Caravan Park.

After setting up we took a drive out to the beach to check it out at low tide and then went up to the lighthouse the highest point in the area. It has a 360 degree view and it is also a great place to spot the whales returning south. You can also get a great view of the world's largest VLF “Very Low Frequency” transmitter, and the 2nd tallest structure in the Southern hemisphere, Tower Zero. Standing at 387.6 metres high Tower Zero is surrounded by 12 others. Weighing 800 tonnes it can withstand winds up to 500 km per hour. This Naval Communication Station is still used by the Australian submarine fleet.

Day 48
Monday 26th August 2013
Campsite: Yardie Homestead Caravan Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 21.887952 S 114.013345 E
Cost of Camping Site: $30 unpowered
Temperature Range: 14-26C
Activities:
Off to the beach this morning to try and catch some fish. We spent a couple of hours but only managed to catch one trevally. We lost some tackle and were joined by lots of turtles swimming close to shore.
Back in the car to drive into Cape Range National Park. We thought it would be nice to drive down onto the beach to have lunch but the sand was a bit too soft so we had to stop and let the tyres down.
After lunch we spent some time at the National Park Visitor Centre.Cape Range National Park is dominated by a rugged limestone range which descends to sea level. It is rich in wildlife. Kangaroos, echidnas, emus and large lizards are common with over 160 species of birds recorded in the area.
Back to the caravan park to clean and fillet my one fish. At the cleaning station I was joined by a number of fishermen returning from a day out in their boat. You definitely need a boat in this area because this group had had a very successful fishing trip.

Day 49
Tuesday 27th August 2013
Campsite: Yardie Homestead Caravan Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 21.887952 S 114.013345 E
Cost of Camping Site: $30 unpowered
Distance travelled: 55 kms
Temperature Range: 14-24C
Activities:
Today we took a drive into Exmouth stopping along the way at the lighthouse to make some phone calls and to check emails. This is the only place in the area to do this before you get into Exmouth itself.
After a walk round Exmouth and after having some lunch and buying some fresh prawns and oysters we drove back to Bundegi Beach to spend the rest of the afternoon fishing. No luck from the beach again. The boatees again had a successful day.

Day 50
Wednesday 28th August 2013
Campsite: Manberry Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates: 24 14 57.7 S 114 2 11.3 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 310 kms
Cost of Diesel: $1.85 @ Yardie Homestead Caravan Park
Temperature Range: 14- 24C
Activities:
On our way to our rest area we decided to drive into Coral Bay for lunch. It is situated just north of the Tropic of Capricorn and is one of the most beautiful holiday areas in WA, and is the southern gateway to Ningaloo Marine Park. The reef forms a natural lagoon and the water is crystal clear. A very popular and beautiful place.

Day 51
Thursday 29th August 2013
Campsite: Wintersun Caravan Park, Carnarvon
Campsite Co-ordinates: 24.867496 S 113.696264 E
Cost of Camping Site: $42 powered
Distance travelled: 88kms
Cost of Diesel: $1.735 Caltex Carnarvon
Temperature Range: 13- 24C
Activities:
Travelled from Mayberry Rest area to Carnarvon and set up camp at the Top Tourist Park on the way into town. After doing a load of washing and some lunch we took a drive around Carnarvon. The town of Carnarvon is situated at the only point of the Australian coastline where the central desert reaches out to the sea. The town's plantation district lines the banks of the Gascoyne River and is abundant with tropical fruits, succulent seafood and a vast array of fruit and vegetables.

Armed with all this info we were looking forward to getting some fresh local fish and fruit and vegetables. Unfortunately, it was not to be. The best local fish were between $35 &$42.99 a kilo. A drive along the food trail only had a limited amount of produce which again was overpriced. We did however taste some lovely relish and jams at Bumbak's and we both enjoyed a mango ice cream. Woolies again was the place to shop and yes it was cheaper.

We went out to the heritage precinct and found the one mile jetty. You can walk on the jetty but it will cost you $4 or you can take the Coffee Pot Train for $7.

Day 52
Friday 30th August 2013
Campsite: Wintersun Caravan Park, Carnarvon
Campsite Co-ordinates: 24 51 50.50 S 113 41 46 E
Cost of Camping Site: $42 powered
Temperature Range: 13- 25C
Activities:
This morning we caught up on some more washing and worked on our itinery. After lunch we visited the Carnarvon Space & Technology Museum. The museum focuses on the Carnarvon Tracking Station and the OTC Satellite Earth Station. The tracking station was built to support NASA's Gemini, Apollo and Skylab programs. It was the last station to communicate with the space capsules leaving the earth orbit, and the last in contact before splashdown.

The OTC Satellite Earth Station was built primarily to carry communications from the NASA station to the US. The museum was officially open by astronaut Buzz Aldrin in 2012.

We returned to the caravan park where I washed the car while Maria caught up on the ironing.

Day 53
Saturday 31st August 2013
Campsite: Gladstone Campsite
Campsite Co-ordinates: 25.952292 S 114.249354 E
Cost of Camping Site: $11.00 unpowered
Distance travelled: 110 kms
Cost of Diesel: $1.735 Caltex Carnarvon
Activities:
Travelled from Carnarvon to Gladstone Campsite on Shark Bay. The 6 km dirt road into the campsite had just been graded in the past few weeks so the small number of corrugations weren't too bad.
When we arrived, there were already about 10 caravans on site. The campsite is on a flat section of ground with low lying shrubs next to an old jetty and causeway protruding out into the bay.
The facilities include toilets, fireplaces, shelter shed and a dump point. Firewood is supplied and Telstra internet and phone reception are available. There is only water provided for the dump point.
After setting up camp, we set off for a walk along the causeway with Ken only walking along the single planks out on the jetty to view the bait fish near the end of the jetty. After dinner, we had a nice time sitting around the campfire viewing the stars before retiring to bed.

Day 54
Sunday 1st September 2013
Campsite: Gladstone Campsite
Campsite Co-ordinates: 25.952292 S 114.249354 E
Cost of Camping Site: $11.00 unpowered
Temperature Range: 16- 25 C
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Activities:
Woke up this morning to a phone call from my son, Christopher to wish me a happy fathers day. We had a good chat and after a hot breakfast we spent the rest of the day relaxing. I got two more fathers day calls from my youngest son Ben and my daughter Carly who had just returned from Europe. We had a lovely three course meal outside under the stars before sitting around another fire.

Day 55
Monday 2nd September 2013
Campsite: Gladstone Campsite
Campsite Co-ordinates: 25.952292 S 114.249354 E
Cost of Camping Site: $11.00 unpowered
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range: 15- 25 C
Activities: Fishing & catching up with emails
Another lazy day before heading for Monkey Mia. Had a try fishing from the jetty. I had a great time feeding the small fish with only a small fish to account for my efforts. There were a couple of fellas spearfishing around the jetty and before I left, they offered me a mangrove jack from their catch.

Day 56
Tuesday 3rd September 2013
Campsite: Denham Seaside Tourist Village
Campsite Co-ordinates: 25 55 31 S 113 31 47 E
Cost of Camping Site: $36.45
Distance travelled: 220 kms

Temperature Range: 16-25C
Activities:
After setting up and doing a couple of loads of washing we went into town for a walk around and to do a bit of shopping. Later in the day the wind came in, the temperature dropped and we had our first good shower of rain since leaving home in April.

Day 57
Wednesday 4th September 2013
Campsite: Fowlers Camp Campsite
Campsite Co-ordinates: 26.106071 S 113.620263 E
Cost of Camping Site: $10.00
Distance travelled: 76 kms
Cost of Diesel: $1.789
Temperature Range: 17-24C
Activities:
We awoke to a very windy and cool day. It was a bit disappointing as we were going to Monkey Mia today to see the dolphins. The showers held off however and we only had to put up with the blustery and rather cold conditions.

Monkey Mia Conservation Park and Reserve are part of Shark Bay World Heritage Area which is recognised internationally for its abundant and globally unique marine life and for its rugged beauty within a remote and wild landscape.

Wild dolphins have visited the beach at Monkey Mia since the early 1960's and is well renowned as a special place where people can experience close encounters with dolphins.

Certain female dolphins are offered small amounts of fish up to three times during the morning. Feeding is kept to small amounts and only in the morning so that the dolphins continue to behave and hunt naturally and teach their young to hunt.

After an enjoyable morning interacting with these beautiful creatures we moved onto Fowler's Camp for the night. To camp there you have book and pay on the day and there are very limited sites. There was no facilities at the campsite only a view of the bay.



Day 58
Thursday 5th September 2013
Campsite: Galena Bridge (Murchison River)
Campsite Co-ordinates: 27 49 39 S 114 41 24 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 273 kms
Temperature Range: 17-27C
Activities:
After leaving Fowlers Camp, we visited Shell Beach just along the road. The Beach has a build up of small shells metres deep.




The shells are extracted for use as shell grit in the poultry industry.
As we were travelling along today we decided to stop and collect some more firewood. We arrived at our free campsite on the Murchison River and found many fellow campers already set up. It is quite a large area and just as well because a steady stream of campers kept arriving throughout the afternoon.


After dinner we shared our campfire with our neighbours who had had the misfortune of hitting an emu earlier in the day. The emu seemed to have been hit between the car and caravan thereby causing some damage to the caravan.



Day 59
Friday 6th September 2013
Campsite: Coronation Beach
Campsite Co-ordinates: 28.552529 S 114.56508 E
Cost of Camping Site: $12.00 per night
Distance travelled: 126 kms
Temperature Range: 14-24C
Activities:
We were able to get a campsite at Coronation Beach Campground which has a number of individual sites set out within the campground. It is right on the water with some sites lucky enough to get an ocean view.

It has a lookout platform and toilets and showers but you must supply your own water. The beach is popular with windsurfers and wave boarders.

After setting up we drove into Geraldton for a hair appointment and to get a wheel alignment and and the tyres balanced on the Discovery. We also restocked our supplies.



Day 60
Saturday 7th September 2013
Campsite: Coronation Beach
Campsite Co-ordinates: 28.552529 S 114.56508 E
Cost of Camping Site: $12.00
Distance travelled: 0 km
Temperature Range: 16-26C
Activities:
A relaxing day spent walking along the beach and working on our itinerary.



Day 61
Sunday 8th September 2013
Campsite: Coronation Beach
Campsite Co-ordinates: 28.552529 S 114.56508 E
Cost of Camping Site: $12.00
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range: 16-26C
Activities:
Another relaxing day spent walking along the beach and working on the itinerary.



Day 62
Monday 9th September 2013
Campsite: Seven Mile Beach Dongara
Campsite Co-ordinates: 29.16934 S 114.88931 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 84 kms
Cost of Diesel: $1.537
Temperature Range: 13-25C
Activities:
Our major priority today was to fill the water tanks and find a dump point for the toilet. We were able to fill the water tanks at the visitor information centre in Geraldton but unfortunately Geraldton does not have a dump point in town.

We stopped off at the information centre in Dongara to get some brochures of the local area before continuing to our campsite.

We set up camp about 20 metres from the beach with an uninterrupted view of the Indian Ocean which we shared with only 2 other couples.



Day 63
Tuesday 10th September 2013
Campsite: Seven Mile Beach Dongara
Campsite Co-ordinates: 29.16934 S 114.88931 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range: 12-24C
Activities:
The day started out with a fair bit of wind so we got the washing out early as a strong weather front was coming through later in the day. Just after lunch the winds really picked up so we thought it wise to drop the awning and turn the car and caravan into the wind and heavy rain.



Day 64
Wednesday 11th September 2013
Campsite: Seven Mile Beach Dongara
Campsite Co-ordinates: 29.16934 S 114.88931 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 40 kms
Temperature Range: 16-22C
Activities:
It was still wet and the strong winds were whipping up a big surf. We needed water so we took a drive into Dongara with our water bottles. The people at the information centre told us there was a water point at the end of one of the toilet blocks where you put in 20cent pieces to get water but they couldn't tell us how much a litre it was. In the meantime we found a tap at one of the shelter sheds and as we have our own tap fitting we were able to fill the water bottles.

We had a bit of a drive around Dongara and Port Denison and before driving back we stopped for coffee and a snack at the local bakery.



Day 65
Thursday 12th September 2013
Campsite: Old Wannamul School Site, Wannamul
Campsite Co-ordinates: 31.164543 S 116.058608 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 291 kms
Cost of Diesel: $1.719
Temperature Range: 15-20C
Activities:
Strong winds were still predicted so instead of taking the coast road we headed inland and had a lovely drive through the countryside to our overnight stay.


Day 66
Friday 13th September 2013
Campsite: Perth Vineyards Holiday Park , Caversham
Campsite Co-ordinates: 31.87719 S 115.964528 E
Cost of Camping Site: $38.20 with Big 4 discount
Distance travelled: 120 kms
Cost of Diesel: $1.609
Temperature Range: 15-18C
Activities:
Left Wannamul and drove to the Swan Valley. Set up camp in the Perth Vineyards Holiday Park and visited Pinelli's winery for tasting and a chat with the owner. When we returned, since the caravan hadn't had a good wash since Darwin I decided to give it a bath while Maria caught up with some ironing. That red dust just gets into everything.



Day 67
Saturday 14th September 2013
Campsite:Perth Vineyards Holiday Park , Caversham
Campsite Co-ordinates:
Cost of Camping Site: $38.20 with Big 4 discount
Distance travelled: 20 kms
Temperature Range: 9-17C
Activities:
It was wet, cold and windy today so we took a drive around the Swan Valley knowing we'd probably find lots of places with fires going to warm us up. We stopped by Houghtons and Vino Italia wineries and found a lovely restaurant where we enjoyed a very delicious pizza.



Day 68
Sunday 15th September 2013
Campsite: Karrinyup Waters Resort, Gwelup
Campsite Co-ordinates: 31.862526 S 115.790810 E
Cost of Camping Site: $31.50 with Top Tourist discount
Distance travelled: 18 kms
Temperature Range: 7-20C
Activities: Shifted campsite to Karrinup Waters Resort, Gwelup about 12kms from Perth.
After setting up Maria caught up with washing and cleaning while I gave the car a good bath and fitted an extra jerry can holder to the back of the van.



Day 69
Monday 16th September 2013
Campsite: Karrinyup Waters Resort, Gwelup
Campsite Co-ordinates: 31.862526 S 115.790810 E
Cost of Camping Site: $31.50 with Top Tourist discount
Distance travelled:
Temperature Range: 7-17C
Activities:
We had a good drive around Perth and some of its outer suburbs today thanks to the GPS. It was still very windy so the Swan River was very choppy and very brown instead of blue due to Perth having its usual supply of rain for September in the first 2 weeks. We finished the day with some shopping at Harbourtown. We did find that no matter where you go in Perth you have to pay for parking just about everywhere.



Day 70
Tuesday 17th September 2013
Campsite:Karrinyup Waters Resort, Gwelup
Campsite Co-ordinates: 31.862526 S 115.790810 E
Cost of Camping Site: $31.50 with Top Tourist discount
Distance travelled:
Temperature Range: 10-17C
Activities: Sightseeing.
Since the morning started out fine we thought we'd start the day by exploring Kings Park.

The total area of the park is 400.6 hectares and features both cultivated gardens and untamed bushland. Just as we were about to start exploring the sightseeing bus turned up. We decided to get the bus and the first place we got off was at the jetty and bell tower in town.

The Bell Tower – Home of the Swan Bells is one of the world's largest musical instruments. The 82.5m tower houses the 12 bells of St Martins-in-the-fields in Trafalgar Square. The tower offers fascinating displays on the history of the bells and bell ringing, as well as stunning views of Perth city and the Swan River.



After lunch we walked to the Perth Mint and checked out some of its unique displays, jewelry and treasures within.

Back on the bus for a return trip to Kings Park.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in Kings Park.



The State War Memorial is also situated in Kings Park.



Day 71
Wednesday 18th September 2013
Campsite: Karrinyup Waters Resort, Gwelup
Campsite Co-ordinates: 31.862526 S 115.790810 E
Cost of Camping Site: $31.50 with Top Tourist discount
Distance travelled: 73kms
Temperature Range: 12-20C
Activities: Sightseeing.
Today we drove to Fremantle and while there we checked out the Maritine and Army museums. The Maritime Museum is on Victoria Quay at the entrance to Fremantle Harbour.

It has a lot of displays and presentations exploring Western Australia's maritime history and is home to Australia 11, the yacht that won the America's Cup in 1983.


The Army Museum showcases the entire colonial and post-federation periods through to the end of World War 11.





After returning to the caravan park I replaced the battery isolator in the Discovery which I found had been the cause on two occasions when I had found the main cranking battery flat.

Day 72
Thursday 19th September 2013
Campsite: Karrinyup Waters Resort, Gwelup
Campsite Co-ordinates: 31.862526 S 115.790810 E
Cost of Camping Site: $31.50 with Top Tourist discount
Temperature Range: 15-20C
Activities: Catching up calling home, shopping and blog

Day 73
Friday 20th September 2013
Campsite: Karrinyup Waters Resort, Gwelup
Campsite Co-ordinates: 31.862526 S 115.790810 E
Cost of Camping Site: $31.50 with Top Tourist discount
Distance travelled: 276 kms
Temperature Range: 13-22C
Activities: Sightseeing.
Today we spent the day exploring New Norcia, Australia's only Monastic town situated 130 km North East of Perth.New Norcia was established in 1847 as a mission for the local Aboriginal people by a Spanish Benedictine monk and over 160 years later New Norcia is still home to Benedictine monks and the monastery is one of 27 historic buildings listed on the National Estate.





Two talented monks were responsible for the stunning hand-painted murals and pressed metal ceilings which adorn the chapels and restful places of worship.

This tranquil community returns you to a sense of stillness and community that's hard to find in this day and age.
Don't miss it.


Day 74
Saturday 21st September 2013
Campsite: Karrinyup Waters Resort, Gwelup
Campsite Co-ordinates: 31.862526 S 115.790810 E
Cost of Camping Site: $31.50 with Top Tourist discount
Distance travelled: 35 kms
Cost of Diesel:$1.619
Temperature Range: 12-20C
Activities:
Today after getting the washing done we set off for the AQWA, the Aquarium of Western Australia. The AQWA is designed as an underwater journey along the 12,000 km of Western Australia's coastline. To make it easier to explore it is divided into five distinct regions from the icy waters of the Southern Ocean to the tropical wonderland of coral reefs in the far north.

After an enjoyable morning at the AQWA we topped up with fuel and returned to the van park to pack up in readiness for our departure tomorrow.


Day 75
Sunday 22nd September 2013
Campsite: Marrinup Township Campsite
Campsite Co-ordinates: 32.703044 S 116.02676 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 120 kms
Cost of Diesel: $1.539
Temperature Range: 12-19 C
Activities: Travelled from Perth to Marrinup township campsite near the township of Dwellingup. After arriving at Dwellingup tourist information centre, directions were obtained as to the best route into the township site We were advised that Grey Road which is unsealed was the best access into the site. The road into the site had a few potholes and once the old railway line was crossed, a short drive up the hill brought you to a large cleared area surrounded by the state forest.
After setting up camp, I decided some maintenance was required on the caravan suspension as it had covered over 16000kms since leaving home. In between the showers, the wheel bearings on the left side of the van were repacked with grease, the hubs seals replaced, the suspension greased and the brakes cleaned and adjusted.

Day 76
Monday 23rd September 2013
Campsite: Marrinup Township Campsite
Campsite Co-ordinates: 32.703044 S 116.02676 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range: 10-19C
Activities: Maintenance on the caravan.
Working between showers, the suspension on the right side of the van was greased, the bearings repacked and the brakes cleaned and adjusted. This took all day due to the strong winds and frequent showers.

Day 77
Tuesday 24th September 2013
Campsite: Buffalo Rd Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates: 33 11 58 S 115 43 02 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 94 kms
Temperature Range: 13-19C
Activities: Travelled from Marrinup township campground to the Buffalo Rd rest area north of Australind passing through the townships of Pinjarra, Waroona and Harvey. After arriving onsite at the rest area which was located off the main highway, I decided to attack the problem I had with the reversing camera on the caravan. I remade the connections at the rear of the car but still failed to find the problem.

Day 78
Wednesday 25th September 2013
Campsite: Big Valley Campsite, Margaret River
Campsite Co-ordinates: 33 59 04 S 115 09 18 E
Cost of Camping Site: $27.00 powered
Distance travelled: 137 kms
Temperature Range: 12-19C
Activities: Travelled from Buffalo Rd Rest area via the Tuart Forest National Park, Busselton and Margaret River before setting up camp at the Big Valley Campground about 10 kms outside Margaret River. Tuart Forest has millions of white lillies growing wild under all of the trees.

We stopped at Busselton and took the small train out to the end of the jetty which is about 2 kms long.
The underwater observary was closed for the day due to the rough weather. We were advised that the weather had prevented the divers accessing the outside of the observary to clean the windows.
From Busselton, we headed south and passed through the lush green pastures of Cowaramup before coming to the township of Margaret River. Cowaramup is best described as a cow town due to the number of black and white cow statues placed throughout the township.
Margaret River is a busy township with shops lining both sides of the main road which passes through the centre of town. A couple of kilometres out of town, we turned left past the Koffeeworks and ventured to the Big Valley Campsite which is a sheep station surrounded by natural forest. After setting up camp Maria caught with the washing.

Day 79
Thursday 26th September 2013
Campsite: Big Valley Campsite, Margaret River
Campsite Co-ordinates: 33 59 04 S 115 09 18 E
Cost of Camping Site: $27.00 powered
Distance travelled: 150kms
Temperature Range: 14-19C
Activities: Sightseeing
We paid a visit to the Koffeeworks to check out their coffee. You are allowed 3 free tastings from their range of imported and Australian coffee beans. A young lady did a great job with her explanation of the various coffees available. With each coffee tasted we had to taste the coffee black first to get the full flavour, then a second taste black and then if you wished you could add milk or sugar. Doing it this way gave you a much greater appreciation of how milk and sugar altered the flavour of the coffee.
After leaving the Koffeeworks, we travelled onto Cowaramup and had a walk through the town checking out the novelty stores before heading to the Cheese Factory where we sampled a number of their cheeses.
From the Cheese Factory, we visited Anniebrook Flower and Wine Emporium before taking the ocean drive past Yallingup to Bunkers Beachside Cafe above Eagle Bay for lunch only to find it closed.
We visited Cape Naturaliste before heading to Dunsborough for lunch at The Dome.
On the way back to our campsite, we visited the Chocolate Company and sampled and bought some of their produce. It was quite a large establishment with chocolate wall to wall.
After getting back to camp, I set up a fire in the campfire circle and relaxed around the fire before being joined by other guests from the park. Firewood is provided.

Day 80
Friday 27th September 2013
Campsite: Big Valley Campsite, Margaret River
Campsite Co-ordinates: 33 59 04 S 115 09 18 E
Cost of Camping Site: $27.00 powered
Distance travelled: 75kms
Temperature Range: 12-20C
Activities: Sightseeing and shopping
Today we headed out to visit Cullens and Gralin wineries. We had a great time with the owner of Gralin discussing our travels around Australia.
The wines are quite expensive with bottles ranging between $30 to $110 each.
We travelled onto the Providore at the Chocolate Factory where we tasted their jams and preserves before heading up the road to the Silk Road to check out their fine silk products. We finished the day with shopping at Woolworths at Margaret River before heading back to the caravan.

Day 81
Saturday 28th September 2013
Campsite: Shannon National Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34.596405 S 116.409652 E
Cost of Camping Site: $12.00 per night unpowered with seniors disc.
Distance travelled: 155 kms
Temperature Range: 12-20C
Activities: Travelled from Margaret River via Augusta to our campsite at Shannon National Park.
After leaving Margaret River, we travelled south through the seaside township of Augusta to Leeuwin Point to check out the lighthouse but on arrival found the carpark full with nowhere to park our rig. We left Augusta and travelled back up the road to Karridale before heading east along the Brockman highway to the Blackman River to check out the campsite at Alexandra Bridge. To our disappointment, the campsite was full due to the long weekend in WA.
We decided to continue our travels to Shannon National Park passing through the small township of Pemberton. After setting up camp, we worked on our itinerary for Tasmania before finishing the night around a campfire. Firewood is provided.

Day 82
Sunday 29th September 2013
Campsite: Shannon National Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34.596405 S 116.409652 E
Cost of Camping Site: $12.00 per night unpowered with seniors disc.
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range: 10-19C
Activities: Maintenance on the caravan and reversing camera
Maria spent the day working on her school instructions and some baking. Between showers I carried out some maintenance on the hatches and had another go at the reversing camera. I traced the cabling all the way through from the car to the caravan and proved that the camera and monitor did work. The problem was with one of the connections. I managed to fix this and finally the camera was working again.

Day 83
Monday 30th September 2013
Campsite: Rose Gardens Beachside Holiday Resort, Albany
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34 59 51 S 117 56 34 E
Cost of Camping Site: $20 powered
Distance travelled: 190 kms
Temperature Range: 10-19C
Activities: Sightseeing and Driving.
After a long chat with our neighbours who turned out to be from Carindale in Brisbane, we set off for Walpole to see the world-famous red tingle trees, some of the most enormous trees in the world.

We took the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk which soars 40 metres into the forest canopy.
We also did the Ancient Empire Walk which meanders through a grove of veteran trees at ground level which gives another perspective of these trees.
We continued on our way through Denmark heading for Cosy Corner Campground. We found it quite busy with only a couple of sites left which we found were unsuitable for our rig. By then it was getting quite late so we made the decision to drive onto Albany. We rang ahead to the caravan park to make sure they had room and even though they were closed for the day they agreed to open up for us when we arrived. It had been a long day and just to make it even more memorable, the reversing camera on the caravan stopped working again.


Day 84
Tuesday 1st October 2013
Campsite: Rose Gardens Beachside Holiday Resort, Albany
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34 59 51 S 117 56 34 E
Cost of Camping Site: $20 powered
Distance travelled: 15 kms
Temperature Range: 7-19C
Activities: Sightseeing around Albany
We took a drive to Middleton Beach and found a nice little restaurant to get a fish and chip takeaway lunch. After lunch we took a walk along the boardwalk which goes right along the waterfront with lookouts along the way.

At the Rotary Lookout we had a good chat with one of the locals who very kindly mentioned some the best attractions in Albany. Before returning to the van we drove up to the lookouts on the top of Mt Melville. By this time the winds were about 40 knots and it was quite cold. The second lookout was adjacent to a communications tower. After travelling up several flights of stairs you had a 360 degrees view of Albany and the surrounding area.

Day 85
Wednesday 2nd October 2013
Campsite: Rose Gardens Beachside Holiday Resort, Albany
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34 59 51 S 117 56 34 E
Cost of Camping Site: $20 powered
Distance travelled: 75kms
Activities: Sightseeing.
Today we thought we'd drive out to Whaleworld which fronts onto King George Sound and then make our way back through all the various tourist sights.
We chose not to visit the museum or take a guided tour so we continued on to the Salmon Holes a very popular rock fishing spot. It is named after salmon that come in looking for calm waters close to the beach.
Onto the blowholes and then the Gap and the Natural Bridge, two natural features carved from ancient granite by the forces of nature.
From the Gap it is a 25 metre sheer drop to the ocean.
The last stop for the day was the Albany Wind Farm. The impressive wind turbines, 18 in all, produce 80% of Albany's electricity needs.

Day 86
Thursday 3rd October 2013
Campsite: Rose Gardens Beachside Holiday Resort, Albany
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34 59 51 S 117 56 34 E
Cost of Camping Site: $20 powered
Distance travelled: 20 kms
Temperature Range: 6-22C
Activities: Sightseeing.
First stop today was the Princess Royal Military Museum which is located on the summit of Mt Adelaide overlooking King George Sound. The Forts were established in 1893 and in 1988 they were reopened as a museum. It is a significant military heritage site with a wide collection of displays and features the restored coastal batteries.
Next was the Convict Gaol Museum, a complex of Men's Cell Blocks and Warders' Quarters. It was built in 1852 for convicts shipped to Western Australia. Women's cells and the great hall were added between 1872-1875. At this time it was also used as a Colonial Prison and was last used as a Police Lockup in the 1930s.
The Brig Amity sailed from Sydney on 9th November 1826 and arrived in Princess Royal Harbour on Christmas Day 1826.

A replica of the brig was built in the mid 1970s and today you can take an audio tour of the whole vessel.
Last stop for the day was the museum which has many displays on the natural and social history of the region as well as a very detailed section dedicated to Australia's role in Antartica.

Day 87
Friday 4th October 2013
Campsite: Fitzgerald old school campsite
Campsite Co-ordinates: 33.747994 S 119.456588 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 233kms
Temperature Range:
Activities: After a very pleasant stay in Albany it was with some regret that we left and drove onto Fitzgerald for our overnight stay. The campsite which was located several hundred metres from the highway was an old abandoned school site with a small shelter shed built on the bitumen basket ball court. The area was shaded with gum trees and there was an old abandoned house nearby.

Day 88
Saturday 5th October 2013
Campsite: Lucky Bay Campground Cape Le Grande National Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 33 59 30 S 122 13 12 E
Cost of Camping Site: $12 with seniors disc.
Distance travelled: 305kms
Temperature Range: 10-27C
Activities: Travelled to Lucky Bay via Esperance
After travelling along the South Coast Highway from Fitzgerald, we stopped off in Esperance to refuel and to catch up on some phone calls to family and friends. After a visit to the information centre, where were also able to top up our water supplies we headed out to Lucky Bay Campground not at all sure if there would be any sites available. You cannot book so it's first in first served. Fortunately for us there was one site left which happened to be next to the couple we'd met at Shannon National Park. We set up camp and went for a late afternoon stroll along the beautiful white sands of Lucky Bay.
Lucky Bay is situated in Cape Le Grand National Park, a park known for its wild coastal scenery, rugged granite peaks and sweeping heath lands and attractive bays with wide sandy beaches set between rocky headlands.Lucky Bay has crystal clear waters and snow white sand. It is unspoilt and spectacular with kangaroos found both on the white sandy beach as well as the campground. It has been voted Australia's Whitest Beach and we would have to agree.

Day 89
Sunday 6th October 2013
Campsite: Lucky Bay Campground Cape Le Grande National Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 33 59 30 S 122 13 12 E
Cost of Camping Site: $12 with seniors disc.
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range: 14-26C
Activities: Worked on reversing camera for caravan, watched the NRL Grand Final
I spent most of the day on the caravan reversing camera again. It stopped working the night we drove into Albany and hadn't worked since. This time I think it is the plugtop terminals that are causing the problem.

Day 90
Monday 7th October 2013
Campsite: Lucky Bay Campground Cape Le Grande National Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 33 59 30 S 122 13 12 E
Cost of Camping Site: $12 with seniors disc.
Distance travelled: 15kms
Temperature Range: 14-30C
Activities: Sight seeing, fishing, walking
This morning we filled up the water bottles and set off to find a suitable place to wash the car. On the drive out to Esperance and Lucky Bay we had collected a lot of bugs which made the front of the car and caravan a mess. We pulled into Thistle Cove carpark and checked out the bay.

It looked better than Lucky Bay. After giving the car a good bath we checked out Whistling Rock, a tall rock formation that reflects the sound of the ocean below. We then drove further along the main road to a high point so we could check emails. Before returning to the van we drove into Hellfire Bay, another wonderfully beautiful stretch of sheltered water.

We spent the rest of the afternoon on the itinerary before I headed to the beach for a spot of fishing.
No edible fish this time to take back to the caravan.

Day 91
Tuesday 8th October 2013
Campsite: Lucky Bay Campground Cape Le Grande National Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 33 59 30 S 122 13 12 E
Cost of Camping Site: $12 with seniors disc.
Distance travelled: 20kms
Temperature Range: 17-25C
Activities: Hiking and sight seeing
Today we thought we'd take a hike up Frenchmans Peak. A track leads from the carpark up the Eastern slopes of the peak to the summit. We got three-quarters of the way up and decided that the remainder might be just a bit too steep for us on the descent. I walked up a little further to check out one of the caves.
We returned to the van and spent the rest of the day working on the blog. We finished the day by walking along the length of the beach towards the rocks for the last time.


Day 92
Wednesday 9th October 2013
Campsite: Pine Grove Holiday Park Esperance
Campsite Co-ordinates:
Cost of Camping Site: $20 powered
Distance travelled: 57 kms
Temperature Range: 13-13C Cold, wet & windy
Activities: Washing, updating the blog and purchasing caravan parts
Esperance is known as the home of Australia's best beaches with the whitest sand bordered by brilliant blue water bays, which provide ideal conditions for fishing, surfing, sailing and sand boarding.
It has no high rise structures or crowds and has an abundance of wildlife including seals, dolphins, whales, emus, and sea eagles. It is one of the only places you'll find kangaroos sunbathing on the beach.

Day 93
Thursday 10th October 2013
Campsite: Pine Grove Holiday Park Esperance
Campsite Co-ordinates:
Cost of Camping Site: $20 powered
Cost of Diesel: $1.62
Distance travelled:
Temperature Range: 9-21C Fine
Activities: Toured the Great Ocean drive, refuelled, ironing and worked on the caravan camera connections.
Esperance has 16 amazing beaches to choose from so today we decided to take ourselves on a tour along the Great Ocean Drive.
There is spectacular ocean scenery all along the drive with a cycling and walking track following the coastline as well. We discovered West Beach, Blue Haven and Salmon Beach, Fourth Beach and Twilight Beach (Voted Most Popular Beach in WA). It is a family beach and is patrolled by lifesavers on Summer Weekends. Observatory Beach has great appeal for windsurfers.

Day 94
Friday 11th October 2013
Campsite: Mt.Thirsty Rest Area Norseman
Campsite Co-ordinates:
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 225kms
Temperature Range: 13-27C
Activities: Travelled to Norseman, checked out the lookout and continued to Mt. Thirsty campsite
As you drive into Norseman, you are greeted by unique corrugated camels, which stand in the roundabout. They are a tribute to the early camel trains which carried freight and influenced the
design of the main streets to be wider so that the camel trains could turn. There is also a bronze statue of Norseman, the sturdy little horse who started the gold rush in the area by collecting a piece in his hoof.

Day 95
Saturday 12th October 2013
Campsite: Centennial Park, Kalgoorlie
Campsite Co-ordinates: Cnr. Patroni and Hannan St. Kalgoorlie
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Cost of Diesel: $1.44 with Shell disc.
Distance travelled: 182 kms
Temperature Range: 13-21C
Activities: Driving and Sight-Seeing.
Coolgardie was the first settlement of the Western Australian Eastern Goldfields when gold was found in 1892.
The population has decreased dramatically since then and now the town offers a heritage precinct with its old buildings associated with its past.

Both Kalgoorlie and Boulder have beautiful examples of Goldrush architecture to explore, and they owe much of their success to the engineering skills and vision of C.Y. O'Connor who was responsible for the design and construction of a pipeline which was to supply much needed water to the region.
Kalgoorlie and Boulder is home to the Golden Mile – the richest square mile of gold-bearing earth in the world. It is 3.2km long, 1.4km wide and 330m deep.
The Super-Pit is a man-made wonder that can be seen from space. It is a massive gouge carving into the red earth, where trucks the size of houses move hundreds of tons of rock in the hope of extracting a few ounces of gold at a time. You can see Australia's largest gold mine up close from the Super-Pit lookout.

Day 96
Sunday 13th October 2013
Campsite: Lake Cowan Rest Area, Norseman
Campsite Co-ordinates: 32.100859 S 121.694435 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 174 kms
Temperature Range: 10-23C
Activities: Spring Markets, Sight-Seeing, Campfire.
The Western Australian Museum showcases the rich and glittering history of the Eastern Goldfields.
It has a shop, the British Arms Hotel built in 1899 which is said to be the narrowest pub in the southern hemisphere. It has an original miner's cottage which shows the living conditions and social activities of the goldfields settlers. It also has a bank, a police wagon and many stories and displays from the goldfields.
The vault has the largest display of gold bars and nuggets in the State, along with jewellery and historical items. There is also an Ivanhoe Headframe which stands 39 metres high and is accessible by lift.

Day 97
Monday 14th October 2013
Campsite: Baxter Rest Area, Nullarbor
Campsite Co-ordinates: 32.357098 S 124.787044 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 318 kms
Temperature Range: 9-23C
Activities: Travelled from Lake Cowan, north of Norseman to Baxter Rest Area on the Nullarbor.
Along the way today to our west was the Fraser Range. It is a range of granite hills which are surrounded by the world's largest eucalyptus hardwood forest. There are more than 20 species of eucalypts found in the area as well as the Fraser Range Sheep Station. We passed through Balladonia on our way to Caiguna along the “90 Mile Straight” the longest straight stretch of highway in Australia (146.6km).

Day 98
Tuesday 15th October 2013
Campsite: 10 Kilometre Peg Rest Area, Nullarbor
Campsite Co-ordinates: 31.648028 S 129.099977 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 425kms
Temperature Range: 10-32C
Activities: Driving across the Nullarbor all day and crossed the SA border.
We travelled over the Madura Pass where from the lookout you get spectacular views of the Roe Plains.
The Madura Station was established in 1876 and was used to breed horses for the British Army in India. The road dropped down about 100 metres after crossing through the Madura Pass. In Eucla you will find the Telegraph Station which opened in 1877 and was responsible for linking WA with the rest of Australia and the world, sending 11,000 messages annually (just 33 years after Samuel Morse invented the Telegraph).
We crossed the WA/SA border village and travelled on through Yalata where you will find the unique highway sign “Look out for camels, wombats and kangaroos”.

Day 99
Wednesday 16th October 2013
Campsite: Cohan Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates: 31.861124 S 132.8635919 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 382 Kms
Temperature Range: 13-27C
Activities: Driving across the Nullarbor all day, cooked up vegetables in preparation for crossing the border.
The Nullarbor is known as the treeless plain and is the world's biggest, flattest piece of limestone covering an area of approximately 200,000 square kilometres and up to 300 metres thick.


Day 100
Thursday 17th October 2013
Campsite: Ceduna Foreshore Caravan Park
Cost of Camping Site: $27 with Top Tourist Disc.
Distance travelled: 88 Kms
Temperature Range: 15-25C
Activities: Finished our trip across the Nullarbor and passed through the quarantine checkpoint at Ceduna. Washed the car and caravan, worked on the caravan reversing camera again.


Day 101
Friday 18th October 2013
Campsite: Ceduna Foreshore Caravan Park
Cost of Camping Site: $27 with Top Tourist Disc.
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range: 15-31C
Activities: Caught up with the ironing, shopping and itinerary, bought oysters just past the quarantine check point.
Ceduna overlooks the shores of Murat Bay, facing the Great Australian Bight. It is the hub for the region's large cereal-growing area but oysters are a Ceduna speciality. We highly recommend the oysters at the quarantine check point. The best we've had for a number of years.

Day 102
Saturday 19th October 2013
Campsite: Haslam Campground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 32.510256 S 134.21389 E
Cost of Camping Site: $5.00
Distance travelled: 71kms
Temperature Range: 11-36C Windy
Activities: Went fishing on the Haslam jetty, Tried to avoid eating the millions of flies.
Tried fishing from the jetty but still no luck. It was the only spot where you could get away from the flies due to the wind blowing at the time.
I tried squid as bait and all my lures but nothing was tempted except a tiddler. So much for fishing from jetties in SA. At least I didn't have to pay to go on the jetty like WA.

Day 103
Sunday 20th October 2013
Campsite: Murphy's Haystacks
Campsite Co-ordinates: 33.016692 S 134.491115 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 80kms
Temperature Range: 21-35C
Activities: Visited Steaky Bay, walked on the jetty, travelled onto the Murphy's Haystacks
We stopped in Streaky Bay for lunch and found it to be a quiet coastal resort offering a wide range of water based activities. Still lots of flies around and none of the fishermen on the jetty were having too much luck. We travelled on to Murphy's Haystacks which are described as funky rocks. The Haystacks are weather-beaten granite rocks in the shape of odd-shaped pillars and boulders.

Day 104
Monday 21st October 2013
Campsite: Waterloo Bay Tourist Park, Elliston
Campsite Co-ordinates: 33.646747 S 134.8872649 E
Cost of Camping Site: $26.10 with Top Tourist Disc.
Distance travelled: 90kms
Temperature Range: 19- Windy
Activities: Travelled to Elliston via Venus Bay
Venus Bay is named after the schooner Venus, the first vessel to enter the bay and is a popular tourist destination over the summer months.Elliston is a quiet little town and is a prime spot for viewing whales, dolphins and sea lions. We had a storm during the afternoon and the evening, a lot of noise but not much rain.

Day 105
Tuesday 22nd October 2013
Campsite: Surfleet Cove Lincoln National Park, Port Lincoln
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34.765783 S 135.956934 E
Cost of Camping Site: $9.00 concession entrance fee +$10 per night
Distance travelled: 198kms
Temperature Range: 12-15C Windy & Rain
Activities: Travelled from Elliston via Coffin Bay and Port Lincoln to Lincoln National Park. Set up camp at Surfleet Camping area.
The road to Coffin Bay showed evidence of the previous night's storm.
Lots of tree debris and trees down. Bought some oysters at Coffin Bay as it is famed for its oysters.Ceduna's were far better in our opinion.
Arrived at Surfleet Cove which is situated on the side of a hill. The road in is sealed all the way from Port Lincoln. The campground has well positioned individual level sites with views of the bay.



Day 106
Wednesday 23rd October 2013
Campsite: Surfleet Cove Lincoln National Park, Port Lincoln
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34.765783 S 135.956934 E
Cost of Camping Site: $10 per night
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range: 12-
Activities: Walked the trail to Spalding Cove, More flies
The National Park is a rugged peninsula with spectacular ocean views, sandy beaches and sheltered camping sites. It is covered with large areas of coastal mallee with granite outcrops and extensive sand dunes. Steep limestone cliffs form an impressive backdrop to the open ocean.

Day 107
Thursday 24th October 2013
Campsite: Port Lincoln Tourist Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34.7280919 S 135.8832029 E
Cost of Camping Site: $27 with Top Tourist disc.
Distance travelled: 37 kms
Temperature Range: 11-19C
Activities: Travelled from Surfleet Camping area to Port Lincoln. Caught up with the shopping, Set up camp, Maria visited the hairdresser while the Discovery was serviced at Lincoln Land Rover.
I took Maria to the hairdresser before heading to Lincoln Land Rover for the 26000km service on the car. I hung around watching the car being serviced and was surprised when I was given the bill. The cost for the “A Service” was $295 which included an oil change and filter. I paid $410 for an oil change and filter in Darwin. I had been told by other Land Rover owners to expect a bill around $850. Just goes to show you how the larger dealerships rip you off!


Day 108
Friday 25th October 2013
Campsite: Port Lincoln Tourist Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34.7280919 S 135.8832029 E
Cost of Camping Site: $27 with Top Tourist disc.
Distance travelled:
Temperature Range: 4-17C
Activities: Toured the marina and lunched near the boat ramp. Finally found the problem with the reversing camera.
Port Lincoln is situated on the peaceful waters of Boston Bay and is known as the seafood capital of Australia because of its vast variety of seafood. We visited Boston Bay Wines which enjoys spectacular views of Boston Bay before driving back into town to get some fish and chips and oysters for lunch.
We enjoyed our lunch out at the point and checked out the Lincoln Cove Marina before returning to the caravan. The Marina is home to the largest commercial fishing fleet in Australia.

Day 109
Saturday 26th October 2013
Campsite: Fitzgerald Bay, Whyalla
Campsite Co-ordinates: 32.924177 S 137.749662 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 301 kms
Temperature Range: 11-30C
Activities: Travelled from Port Lincoln via Whyalla to Fitzgerald Bay near Port Lowry.
We left Port Lincoln and made our way to Fitzgerald Bay Campsite. This coastal drive along the east side of the Eyre Peninsula offers sweeping ocean views, towering limestone cliffs and easy access to the white-sand beaches and turquoise waters.Whyalla used to be one of the biggest regional cities in South Australia, but it didn't seem that way to us. It was very quiet and seemed deserted for a Saturday afternoon. It is however blessed with more than 300 days of sunshine a year.

Day 110
Sunday 27th October 2013
Campsite: Fitzgerald Bay, Whyalla
Campsite Co-ordinates: 32.924177 S 137.749662 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range: 16-32C
Activities: A relaxing day in the van away from the flies

Day 111
Monday 28th October 2013
Campsite: Spear Creek Caravan Park, Port Augusta
Campsite Co-ordinates: 32 34 12 S 137 59 25 E
Cost of Camping Site: $22 with seniors disc.
Distance travelled: 109 kms
Temperature Range: 18-
Activities: Travelled from Whyalla via Port Augusta to Spear Creek. Caught up with the shopping and blog.
We stopped off in Port Augusta to catch up with our shopping before heading to Spear Creek.Port Augusta is a thriving city and is known as “The Crossroads of Australia” as several major highways intersect there. Spear Creek Caravan Park is situated at the base of the Flinders Ranges and is a working sheep station.
We saw lots of saltbush on the drive in on one of the roughest bitumen roads we've encountered yet.

Day 112
Tuesday 29th October 2013
Campsite: Arthurton Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34.370343 S 137.67504 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 259 Kms
Temperature Range: 13-22C
Activities: Travelled from Port Augusta to Arthurton via Port Broughton and Maitland. Set up camp in the rest area behind the local church.
The scenery was different today with views of the Spencer Gulf to the west and rich grain fields to the east. When we arrived at the rest area, we found two other caravans set up already. They just happened to be some fellow travellers we'd met in WA. It was good to catch up.


Day 113
Wednesday 30th October 2013
Campsite: Port Julia Oval Campground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34.662734 S 137.8772899 E
Cost of Camping Site: $7.00
Distance travelled: 271 Kms
Temperature Range: -22C
Activities: Travelled from Arthurton to Port Julia. Left the van at the showground and continued by car down to Marion Bay near the tip of the Yorke Peninsula.
After setting up camp we decided to explore the rest of the Yorke Peninsula. Port Julia itself was once a busy port with wheat and barley being loaded onto ketches bound for Port Adelaide and it was where much of the district's incoming freight was delivered. Today, the jetty and cargo shed remain as a reminder of its history. Still heaps of flies.
We headed south and passed through Port Vincent, Stansbury, Edithburgh, Yorketown, Warooka and finally ended up in Marion Bay.
Marion Bay has a sheltered swimming and surf beach and is just down the road from Innes National Park. We had lunch at the tavern and can highly recommend the pizzas.

Day 114
Thursday 31st October 2013
Campsite: Clare Racecourse
Campsite Co-ordinates: 33.787704 S 138.5874069 E
Cost of Camping Site: $10.00 unpowered
Distance travelled: 156 Kms
Temperature Range: 11-27C
Activities: Travelled from Port Julia to Clare via Port Wakefield. Set up camp at the Clare Valley Racecourse.
After setting up camp and a bite to eat we visited the Jim Barry Winery and went to the Information Centre for some local maps.Clare is 139 kilometres from Adelaide and is the regional centre of the secluded Clare Valley. The valley is a region of plains, pastures and valleys and is 200 kilometres long and 100 kilometres wide. The whole region is a little rustic with stone ruins, ragged gum trees and old timber fence-posts and historic stone villages with nineteenth century cottages with open log fireplaces and tranquil gardens.

Day 115
Friday 1st November 2013
Campsite: Clare Racecourse
Campsite Co-ordinates: 33.787704 S 138.5874069 E
Cost of Camping Site: $10.00 unpowered
Distance travelled: 94 Kms
Temperature Range: 10-30C
Activities: Travelled into Clare and continued out to Burra which is a small town NE of Clare.
After having passed through Burra a couple of years ago we thought it deserved a second look. It is an historic township made famous through the finding of copper in 1845. By 1850, Burra had one of the world's largest copper mines and saved SA from bankruptcy. It is a State Heritage Area and has many great historical attractions. Visitors can purchase a Heritage Passport and Key which allows you to unlock 8 heritage sites and entry into 3 museums. There are also 50 other sites of interest.
After a lovely lunch at La Pecora Nera (The Black Sheep) an authentic Italian Eatery, we drove back to the racecourse where we washed and cleaned the car.

Day 116
Saturday 2nd November 2013
Campsite: Clare Racecourse
Campsite Co-ordinates: 33.787704 S 138.5874069 E
Cost of Camping Site: $10.00 unpowered
Distance travelled: 52 Kms
Temperature Range: 11-34C
Activities: Travelled out to Mintaro east of the Clare Valley.
Mintaro was established in 1849 and is part of a State Heritage Area. You'll discover stone churches, cottage gardens, an antique shop, a ruined flour mill and interesting cemeteries. Many of the buildings feature Mintaro Slate made famous around the world for providing the playing surfaces on billiard tables, and was used in Adelaide's finest houses, Parliament House and is still being used to pave Adelaide.
After a visit to Reilly's Wines and lunch at the historic Magpie & Stump pub it was time to visit Martindale Hall.The hall was built in 1879 at a cost of 30,000 pounds. It is a very opulent Georgian mansion which came complete with a cricket pitch (which hosted the English XI), a boating lake, a race course and a polo field. It has extraordinary interiors and was used for the ladies college in the 1975 film “Picnic at Hanging Rock”. You can actually stay overnight and make use of many of its antique fittings. Unfortunately, you cannot take photos inside the hall. It is definitely worth a visit.
On the way back we dropped into Sevenhill Cellars, Sevenhill the oldest winery in the region. Jesuit Priests planted the first vines in 1851 and today Jesuit Priests and Brothers are still making sacramental wine. It is very picturesque and one of its main features is the magnificent St Aloysius Church and crypt.

Day 117
Sunday 3rd November 2013
Campsite: Auburn Showgrounds
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34.029799 S 138.690772 E
Cost of Camping Site: $16.00 unpowered
Distance travelled: 31Kms
Temperature Range: 13-24C
Activities: Travelled from Clare to Auburn. Set up camp at the Auburn Showground. Sight-Seeing.
Auburn was originally named Tateham's Waterhole in 1849 after the town's first settler. It is an historic town and many of its buildings are listed on the National Trust, State Heritage and National Estate Registers. After a short drive in the area we finished the day at the happy hour with our fellow campers.

Day 118
Monday 4th November 2013
Campsite: Auburn Showgrounds
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34.029799 S 138.690772 E
Cost of Camping Site: $16.00 unpowered
Distance travelled: 40Kms
Temperature Range: 9-24C
Activities: Sight-Seeing.
We thought we'd take a drive out to Kilikanoon which is accessed by a very narrow and winding country road with overhanging tree branches. Definitely not suitable for caravans or big rigs. We visited Annie's Lane and enjoyed coffee and chocolates in the sunny gardens before dropping in to Claymores before returning to the showground where we caught up with some fellow travellers.

Day 119
Tuesday 5th November 2013
Campsite: Truro East Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34 24 30 S 139 08 09 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 100kms
Temperature Range: 8-30C
Activities: Driving and Sight-Seeing.
On the way to the rest area we passed through Seppeltsfield and Tanunda. Driving down Seppeltsfied Road you have food, wine, music, accommodation and religion all coming together in a small stretch of road decorated with an avenue of huge date palms that were planted to provide work for local families during the Great Depression. The central landmark is the Seppeltsfield Winery, founded in 1851, and which is still a showcase today. Shakespeare in the Vines is held here each year on the long weekend in January.
As we drove through Tanunda we visited Chateau Tanunda, one of Australia's most beautiful estates.
Established in 1890 and located in the heart of Tanunda the estate is home to grand buildings, manicured gardens, crocquet lawns and a cricket pitch.Tanunda has a strong European heritage with its distinctive church spires, cafes and restaurants. The early German settlers emigrated seeking religious freedom so strongly held Christian views have shaped the town. Many of the original dark ironstone cottages and barns of the early settlers still remain.
We moved onto the Truro Rest Area where set up camp for the night. Truro itself has a cairn in the main street dedicated to the expedition to Central Australia led by Captain Charles Sturt. It is one of a chain of commemorative cairns erected along this famous route.

Day 120
Wednesday 6th November 2013
Campsite: Eden Valley Showground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34.653858 S 139.101982 E
Cost of Camping Site: $21.00 powered
Distance travelled: 42kms
Temperature Range: 10-35C
Activities: Driving & Sight-Seeing.
On the way to our campsite at the Eden Valley Showground we dropped into the Wolf Blass Visitor Centre and the Peter Lehmann Estate. Wolf Blass may be well known for its wines but the visitor centre also has a wonderful selection of locally sourced specialty gourmet products and an assortment of pastries, cakes, wraps and platters to enjoy with a barista made coffee.
Rain had been predicted so upon arrival at the showground we caught up with the washing.

Day 121
Thursday 7th November 2013
Campsite: Eden Valley Showground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34.653858 S 139.101982 E
Cost of Camping Site: $21.00 powered
Distance travelled: 42kms
Temperature Range: 8-25C
Activities: Sight-Seeing.
Today we wanted to explore the little town of Angaston but before we did that we stopped in at Yalumba, which has original stone buildings that date back to 1849 and are surrounded by beautiful rambling gardens.The whole estate has a very inviting and friendly atmosphere and a working cooperage which is well worth a look.
We had a wonderful lunch at the Roaring Forties Restaurant in Angaston which has won numerous awards for the best Pizza in Australia. We took a walk through the town and noticed its vibrant cafes, bars and smart little antique and traditional shops. Like most other small country towns in SA it has its own historical buildings but what we are noticing most everywhere we go is the abundant blooms of roses. They're just everywhere and they're just spectacular.

Day 122
Friday 8th November 2013
Campsite: Rocky Paddock Campground, Mt. Crawford
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34 43 01 S 138 56 26 E
Cost of Camping Site: $12.00 week for a senior
Distance travelled: 29kms
Temperature Range: 10-24
Activities: Sight-Seeing through Mt. Pleasant and set up camp at Rocky Paddock. Had an easy afternoon.


Day 123
Saturday 9th November 2013
Campsite: Rocky Paddock Campground, Mt. Crawford
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34 43 01 S 138 56 26 E
Cost of Camping Site: $12.00 week for a senior
Distance travelled: 50 kms
Temperature Range: 9-18
Activities: Shopping at Gawler, Sight-Seeing at Lyndoch.
We drove into Gawler to refuel, fill up a gas bottle and restock our supplies.Gawler, established in 1839, is bound by rolling hills and is a major regional centre for commerce and business due to its close promity to Adelaide.
On the way back to our campsite we explored the little country town of Lyndoch. We dropped into the Schild Family Cellar hoping to have one of their platters, but the kitchen had been closed for the day. We took a walk through town and ended up at the German Bakery where we enjoyed one of their homemade pies with a coffee, and took some Blackforest and Apple Strudel home wth us to enjoy later.

Day 124
Sunday 10th November 2013
Campsite: Rocky Paddock Campground, Mt. Crawford
Campsite Co-ordinates: 34 43 01 S 138 56 26 E
Cost of Camping Site: $12.00 week for a senior
Distance travelled: 20kms
Temperature Range: 9-18
Activities: Sight-Seeing.
We took a drive to the small country town of Williamstown and spent most of the afternoon exploring its streets. The town originally functioned as a service centre for the already well-established pastoral and timber community of the Mount Crawford district. The town is also home to the biggest mural in the Barossa depicting aspects of life at Williamstown and surrounding areas since the earliest days of South Australian settlement.

Day 125
Monday 11th November 2013
Campsite: Kuitpo Forest Reserve
Campsite Co-ordinates: 35 12 15 S 138 42 55 E
Cost of Camping Site: $5.00 for a seniors
Distance travelled: 78 kms
Temperature Range: 8-22C
Activities: Travelled from Mt. Crawford to Kuitpo Forest Reserve via Hahndorf.
On the way to our campsite we stopped off to sample some cheese at the Woodside Cheese and chocolate at Melba's Chocolate Factory. The chocolate factory is an old-style factory and retail outlet that offers chocolate and lolly-making demonstrations using antique equipment gathered from around the country.
We travelled onto Hahndorf, Australia's oldest surviving German settlement which was built by a group of Prussian settlers in 1839. One hundred year old elm and plane trees line the main street where you will find dozens of gourmet food outlets, galleries and quirky shops, quality gift and specialty shops and craft shops, many of which are housed in cottages dating back to the 1840s and still in good condition.
After wandering through the town for a couple of hours it was onto Kuitpo where we washed both vehicles.

Day 126
Tuesday 12th November 2013
Campsite: McLaren Vale Lakeside Caravan Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 35 12 58 S 138 32 36 E
Cost of Camping Site: $28.80 with Top Tourist Disc.
Distance travelled: 27 kms
Temperature Range: 12-22C
Activities: Driving and sight-seeing.
We left Kuitpo State Forest and made our way to McLaren Vale. We set up camp and caught up with the washing before exploring the surrounding area. Along the way we visited the Scarpantoni and Wirra Wirra Estates. At Scarpantoni the main focus is maintaining the importance of family and their daily meetings and meals are still held at the famous and reconditioned Scarpantoni round barrel kitchen table.
Wirra Wirra was originally established in 1894 but it ran into disrepair and was eventually abandoned. In 1969 it was rebuilt using local Kangarilla ironstone.

Day 127
Wednesday 13th November 2013
Campsite: Frank Potts Reserve, Langhorne Creek
Campsite Co-ordinates: 35 17 56 S 139 02 33 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 61 kms
Temperature Range: 15-23C
Activities: Driving and sight-seeing.

We left McLaren Vale and made our way to Langhorne Creek a quiet country town on the Fleurieu Peninsula. We visited Bremerton wines run by the Wilson sisters in a renovated 1866 stone barn which also has a variety of local produce and regionally inspired food. We also visited the Lake Breeze vineyard on the banks of the Bremer River.

Day 128
Thursday 14th November 2013
Campsite: Frank Potts Reserve, Langhorne Creek
Campsite Co-ordinates: 35 17 56 S 139 02 33 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 15 kms
Temperature Range: 14-24C
Activities: Sight-seeing.
Today we visited Bleasdale, a company which is owned and operated by fifth and sixth generation members of the Potts family. It was founded in 1850 and has been classified by the National Trust and is listed on the State and National Heritage Registers. We also visited Rusticana wines where we were able to sample some of the Newman's range of olive oils and horseradish products.

Day 129
Friday 15th November 2013
Campsite: Cockatoo Lake, Narracoorte
Campsite Co-ordinates: 36.750527 S 140.578895 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 255 kms
Temperature Range: 10-20C
Activities: Driving.
Today we had a pleasant drive to our next stop at Cockatoo Lake. Along the way we passed through the town of Keith located at the junction of the Dukes and Riddoch highways. The Keith district is the largest lucerne seed growing area in the Southern Hemisphere.

Day 130
Saturday 16th November 2013
Campsite: Cockatoo Lake, Narracoorte
Campsite Co-ordinates: 36.750527 S 140.578895 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range: 9-25C
Activities: Spent the day relaxing and catching up on the blog and itinerary.

Day 131
Sunday 17th November 2013
Campsite: Naracoorte Showground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 36°57'11.55"S 140°45'0.40"E
Cost of Camping Site: $20
Distance travelled: 36kms
Temperature Range:7-28C
Activities: Driving, sight-seeing.
After the short drive from Cockatoo Lake to the Naracoorte Showground, we set up camp and caught up with the washing before setting off to explore the Naracoorte Caves National Park and World Heritage Area. The caves are recognised as one of the world's most valuable fossil sites and each cave has something different to offer from stunning cave formations and adventure caving opportunities, to observing the natural habitat of the endangered Southern Bentwinged Bats. As well as exploring a couple of the caves, we visited the Wonambi Fossil Centre which recreates the world of the 120 species of vertebrate animals that have been recorded to date, and brings them to life in spectacular fashion.
On the way back to our campsite we restocked our supplies.

Day 132
Monday 18th November 2013
Campsite: Wannon Falls Campground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 37 40 27 S 141 50 49 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 155kms
Temperature Range: 11-30C
Activities: Driving and sight-seeing.
Before crossing the border into Victoria we drove through the premium wine producing regions of Coonawarra and Penola. Measuring only twenty kilometres in length and two kilometres in diameter, this cigar-shaped strip has the prized terra rossa soil. The area has also been made famous by St Mary of the Cross MacKillop who opened the first Saint Joseph's School in an old stable in Penola. The history of this nun who became Australia's first Saint can be discovered at the Mary MacKillop Interpretative Centre in Penola. We camped at Wannon Falls, a pleaseant campsite just outside the small township of Wannon. There was a short walk down the hill to the Wannon waterfalls. Another great campsite, pity about the max. 24hr stay.

Day 133
Tuesday 19 November 2013
Campsite: Meredith Park, Lake Colac
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38 16 07 S 143 36 38 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 201kms
Temperature Range: 14-30C
Activities: Driving.
After a pleasant drive we set up camp at Meredith Park, on the banks of Lake Colac.

Day 134
Wednesday 20th November 2013
Campsite: Meredith Park, Lake Colac
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38 16 07 S 143 36 38 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range: 14-
Activities: A relaxing day. Worked on the itinerary to keep out of the cold breeze and midgies.

Day 135
Thursday 21st November 2013
Campsite: Meredith Park, Lake Colac
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38 16 07 S 143 36 38 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 20kms
Temperature Range:
Activities:
Maria drove into Colac to get her hair done while I relaxed in the van. It was best to stay inside today as we seemed to have a plague of midgies in the area.


THIRD LEG OF OUR JOURNEY

Day 136
Friday 22nd November 2013
Campsite: Spirit of Tasmania
Departure Co-ordinates: 37°50'36.55"S 144°55'55.81"E
Cost of Trip: $930
Distance travelled to Melbourne: 162kms
Trip on Spirit of Tasmania: Approx 447 Kms
Temperature Range: 14-
Activities:
We had a good drive into Melbourne until we hit the Westgate Bridge, where we made slow progress for a while due to a previous accident. Once we had cleared that we parked up near a park about 2 kilometres from Station Pier, where planned to stay until it was time to board the boat to Tasmania. We walked down to the Pier to make sure we knew where to go.
We lined up at the appropriate time and eventually we were loaded onboard. After exploring the ship and enjoying an evening meal we watched the two movies being shown in the theatrette before retiring to our cabin. It was a reasonably comfortable trip across the Bass Strait with only 10-15 kt winds on a 1.5m swell.

Day 137
Saturday 23rd November 2013
Campsite: Forth Recreation Ground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.187536 S 146.2505359 E
Cost of Campsite: Donation
Cost of Diesel:
Distance travelled: 11 kms
Temperature Range: 13-21C
Activities:
We were woken up at 5.45am so we would be ready to leave the boat at 6.30am. Upon arrival in Devonport and after the usual quarantine checks we hit the local supermarket to restock all our fresh fruit and vegetables.Devonport is often called the gateway to Tasmania as it is the terminus for the two Spirit of Tasmania vehicular ferries which cross Bass Strait most nights. Once we'd shopped and refuelled we drove into Forth where I washed the car and spent the rest of the day relaxing. A late afternoon storm threatened but it turned out to be more noise than anything else.

Day 138
Sunday 24th November 2013
Campsite: Forth Recreation Ground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.187536 S 146.2505359 E
Cost of Camping Site: Donation
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range: 11-19C
Activities:
Today it was the caravan's turn for a wash. Spent the rest of the day catching up with friends and relatives and working on the blog.



Day 139
Monday 25th November 2013
Campsite: Beaconfield Showground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41 11 57 S 146 49 19 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 97kms
Temperature Range: 7-17C
Activities: Driving.
After breakfast I drove back into Devonport to pick up a part for the car which I had ordered from England and was now being held by a local courier. From there we continued onto Beaconsfield stopping at the Tamar information centre in Exeter to pick up some more brochures. Beaconsfield gained world-wide attention in 2006 when a rock fall caused the death of a miner and trapped two others for a fortnight. It was one of the richest gold-mining towns in the 1880s.

Day 140
Tuesday 26th November 2013
Campsite: Northeast Park, Scottsdale
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41 09 54 S 147 31 24 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Cost of Diesel:
Distance travelled: 150kms
Temperature Range: 9-18C
Activities: Driving and sight-seeing.
After spending a couple of hours exploring the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre we took a drive up to Greens Beach and Beauty Point which is known for its two attractions Seahorse World and Platypus House. We continued south and crossed the Batman Bridge which spans the Tamar River. The bridge is one of the world's first cable-stayed truss bridges and is dominated by the 100 metre high steel A-frame tower. We then passed through George Town one of the oldest permanent European settlements in Australia and Bridport before finally arriving at our campsite for the night.

Day 141
Wednesday 27th November 2013
Campsite: Northeast Park, Scottsdale
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41 09 54 S 147 31 24 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range: 11-20C
Activities:
Today we caught up with the washing and I checked the caravan brakes again. I checked the right front brake shoes on the van which I knew were getting low and found that they had got to their limit. It took me an hour to replace the backing plate and brake shoes with a set I had from Brisbane.
A neighbour from another caravan in the park found out that I was a sparkie and asked whether I could help him with his solar panel. He wanted a connection to be installed externally on his van so that he didn't have to connect to his battery through the window. I said I could do it if he had the parts. In no time he was back with the parts and I spent the rest of the afternoon installing the wiring and anderson plugs.

Day 142
Thursday 28th November 2013
Campsite: Northeast Park, Scottsdale
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41 09 54 S 147 31 24 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 45kms
Temperature Range:
Activities: Driving and sight-seeing.
Scottsdale is known for known for its farmland, dairy cows and forest landscapes and from there we decided to take a drive through the countryside to the towns of Legerwood and Ringarooma. Legerwood is known for its memorial avenue of wood carved statues dedicated to soldiers killed in action. The statues were all carved by one man with a chainsaw. Back at the campsite I gave the toilet another service and caught up with some phone calls.

Day 143
Friday 29th November 2013
Campsite: Cosy Corner North, Bay of Fires
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41 13 16 S 148 16 55 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 111kms
Temperature Range: 10-19C
Activities: Driving.
Today we took the narrow, winding Tasman Highway to St Helens where we filled up with water before making our way to our campsite at Cosy Corner in the Bay of Fires Conservation Area. Captain Furneaux named this stunning area in1773 due to the fires that were started by Aborigines along the shore. Although it was given its name from the fires, the setting sun also offers a fire effect when reflected on the water.

Day 144
Saturday 30th November 2013
Campsite: Cosy Corner North, Bay of Fires
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41 13 16 S 148 16 55 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 40kms
Temperature Range: 8-17C
Activities: Shopping.
Today we explored some other parts of the Bay of Fires Conservation Area before driving into St Helens to restock our supplies. St Helens is close to the tip of the East Coast and is one of the bigger towns in the region. For a fishing port known for its crayfish, scallops, abalone and flounder it did not have much to choose from.

Day 145
Sunday 1st December 2013
Campsite: Cosy Corner North, Bay of Fires
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41 13 16 S 148 16 55 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:
Activities:
A relaxing day working on the itinerary, catching up with phone calls and watching the rugby league world cup.



Day 146
Monday 2nd December 2013
Campsite: Lagoons Beach
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.647186 S 148.2974089 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 60kms
Temperature Range: 17-29C
Activities:
We drove back into St Helens where we filled up with water and dumped the toilet. While Maria caught up with the washing I restocked our supplies before we drove onto Lagoons Beach.

Day 147
Tuesday 3rd December 2013
Campsite: Lagoons Beach
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.647186 S 148.2974089 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range: 14-19
Activities: Fishing
A relaxing day fishing and catching up with the blog. No fish today. Not even a bite.

Day 148
Wednesday 4th December 2013
Campsite: Coles Bay River & Rocks Campground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.087012 S 148.2323879 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range: 17-
Activities:
Today we passed through the lovely town of Bicheno. We visited the blowhole where when the waves are up the blowhole sends a spray of seawater high into the air. At dusk, you can also watch little penguins in their natural environment as they emerge from the ocean and head home. We were looking to buy a lobster but they were $68.99 a kilo which meant the one we looked at would have cost $75.00. The gentleman at the fish shop said they were $110.00 a kilo not that long ago. Nearly all of the fresh fish places only take cash as well.

Day 149
Thursday 5th December 2013
Campsite: Coles Bay River & Rocks Campground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.087012 S 148.2323879 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range: 10-18C
Activities:
Today we spent most of the day making appointments and catching up on phone calls and emails. Phone, TV, internet and radio are all patchy here.

Day 150
Friday 6th December 2013
Campsite: Coles Bay River & Rocks Campground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.087012 S 148.2323879 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range: 11-20C
Activities: Sightseeing around Coles Bay, walk to Wineglass Bay Lookout.
Coles Bay is in Freycinet National Park which is known for its granite mountains surrounded by bays and white sandy beaches.Wildflowers, birds and native animals all abound in the park along with various sea creatures.
We took the walk up to the Wineglass Bay Lookout, a walk of about 3km, 1-2.5 hours return.It is uphill nearly all the way and is classed as difficult. There are however many stops along the way to have a rest before continuing. On the way back to the van we dropped into the Freycinet Marine Farm where we were able to purchase a lobster, some oysters and salmon.

Day 151
Saturday 7th December 2013
Campsite: Mayfield Bay Campground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.241225 S 148.0131549 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 66kms
Temperature Range: 11-18C
Activities: Washing and setting up camp at Mayfield Bay
We went for a walk before driving onto our next stop at Mayfield Bay campground.

Day 152
Sunday 8th December 2013
Campsite: Mayfield Bay Campground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.241225 S 148.0131549 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range: 8-20C
Activities:
Spent most of day uploading the blog and all the photos and monitoring the car batteries.

Day 153
Monday 9th December 2013
Campsite: Triabunna, Spring Bay Hotel
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.509147S 147.9139999 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 35kms
Temperature Range: 17-25C
Activities: Driving and sight-seeing.
After setting up camp in the grounds behind the Spring Bay Hotel we went for a walk around the town and marina. We did a bit of shopping and then spent the rest of the day monitoring the car battery.

Day 154
Tuesday 10th December 2013
Campsite: Triabunna, Spring Bay Hotel
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.509147S 147.9139999 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range: 13-20C
Activities: Sight-seeing.
Today we walked to the visitors centre, opp shop, coffee shop and gallery. Monitored the car battery again and had dinner at the Spring Bay Hotel.

Day 155
Wednesday 11th December 2013
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 63kms
Temperature Range: 10-16C
Activities: Driving and shopping.
We travelled to Sorrell to shop. Sorrell is a regional centre with service facilities, internet cafes and antique shops. Along with the modern buildings you will find many historical buildings to explore. We continued on to our friends property at Campania which is located about 7kms north of Richmond. We set up camp in the rear padddock before getting a tour of the large grounds and the heritage listed property. The old brick stables on the property were built in the early 1800's.
The rest of the afternoon was spent catching up and relating various travel stories.

Day 156
Thursday 12th December 2013
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 75kms
Temperature Range: 10-21C
Activities: Driving and shopping.
We drove into Hobart to get a check on the auxiliary battery. The first place we went to, put an electronic tester on the battery. The tester stated that the battery needed replacing. As the battery was under warranty they us to Battery World. They tested the battery with a resistive tested which inicated that the battery was fine so we left it overnight for a 24 hour test. After getting a gas bottle filled we went onto Bob Janes to get a wheel alignment and wheel balance on the car. Upon our return to camp we gave the car a good wash.

Day 157
Friday 13th December 2013
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 75kms
Temperature Range: 9-21C
Activities: Driving and sight-seeing.
I drove back into Hobart to see how the auxiliary battery faired and to also get Landrover to check the main battery. Their check showed that one of the cells had died. Instead of a cranking current of 850Amps, the best they got was 121Amps which was barely enough to start the car.
They ordered a new battery but stated that it would take a week to get it to Hobart. Back at Battery World I discovered that the auxiliary battery was indeed fine and it had obviously been the main battery causing all my troubles. We spent the afternoon exploring Richmond before getting ready for our flight home.
Richmond oozes heritage, thanks to its many historical structures.Situated in the Coal River Valley, it is the best preserved Georgian Village in Australia. The historic buildings, beautifully preserved, are now village shops, galleries, restaurants, tea rooms, B&Bs and self-contained cottages. You'll find Australia's oldest gaol – even older than Port Arthur, as well as the oldest bridge, built in 1823, Catholic Church, primary school and post office.

Day 158
Saturday 14th December 2013
Campsite: Campania
Distance Flown: Approx. 1800kms
Temperature Range: 9-
Activities: Flew back to Brisbane for Christmas

Third Leg of our Journey
Our third and final leg of our journey will include exploring Tasmania for a few months before leaving in April to explore Victoria before a brief trip through NSW back to Brisbane in June

Day 1
Tuesday 7th January 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance Flown: approx. 1800kms
Temperature Range:
Activities: Flew back to Hobart from Brisbane to continue the next leg of our journey.
After arriving back in Tasmania, it was off to the grocery shops to restock the caravan. We arranged with Landrover to get the battery changed the next day. We also noticed that one of the sheep in the paddock had taken a liking to our car in our absence and dented the four doors and right front mudguard of the Discovery. It must have seen it's our reflection in the paintwork and tried to butt the other ram.


Day 2
Wednesday 8th January 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 72kms
Temperature Range: 10-25C
Activities: Visited Hobart for battery replacement and quote on vehicle panel damage.
I drove into Hobart to pick up my new battery from Landrover and to get a quote on some vehicle panel damage. While Maria spent the afternoon doing some cooking, I offered to mow the back paddock where we were camped. We finished the day by relaxing around the pool.

Day 3
Thursday 9th January 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 145 kms
Temperature Range: 11-25C
Activities: Sight-seeing.
We drove to the Rosny Hill Lookout and enjoyed the views of Hobart with the Wellington Range as a majestic backdrop. We moved onto the Cascade Brewery, the oldest brewery in Australia and enjoyed a walk through the lovely gardens and visitors centre. After I had done one of their tastings, we drove down to Sandy Bay to enjoy lunch by the water. On the way we drove through Battery Point. The area is teeming with sandstone buildings, cute cottages and shops and very narrow streets. After lunch we drove to the top of Mount Wellington, which offers the best views of Hobart from its summit.We had planned to visit Cadbury and the Mona Museum but it was getting a bit late in the day so we will visit them another time.

Day 4
Friday 10th January 2014
Campsite: Dunalley, Dunalley Hotel
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.893557 S 147.805316 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 50kms
Temperature Range: 13-30C
Activities: Driving and shopping.
We said goodbye to our friends and drove into Sorrell to restock before continuing onto Dunalley, a quiet fishing hamlet located on Denison Canal. The man-made waterway connects the east and western sides of the Forestier and Tasman Peninsulas, ensuring safe passage for sea vehicles. Essentially, a safe maritime short-cut to Hobart. We set up camp in the grassy paddock at the side of the Dunalley Hotel.

Day 5
Saturday 11th January 2014
Campsite: Dunalley, Dunalley Hotel
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.893557 S 147.805316 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 110kms
Temperature Range:18-30C
Activities: Sight-seeing.
After walking down to the fish market where we were able to purchase some fresh oysters, we set off to explore the Tasman Peninsula. Before crossing Eaglehawk Neck, an isthmus that connects the Tasman Peninsula to the Forestier Peninsula we visited the historic Officers Quarters, believed to be the oldest wooden military structure in the country.
We visited the Dog Line which was used as an early warning system to warn the guards of an escape of any convicts past the Eaglehawk Neck. The dogs were positioned across the narrow 100 metres of the isthmus at set intervals on a cleared stretch of land and even out into the water on platforms.

We continued onto the Blowhole, Tasman Arch and the towering rock face of the Devils Kitchen. You can walk along the highest sea-cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere, 300 metres high. We drove through the quaint, little town, Doo Town where many of the shacks have titles such as “Gunnadoo, Xana-Doo, Doo-Little”.
Continuing south we drove through Taranna to Port Arthur. The Port Arthur Historic Site is the best preserved convict settlement in Australia and the most significant of the nation's convict-era sites. Recently included on the World Heritage List as part of an inscription of Australian Convict Sites, this nineteenth century convict settlement offers amazing insights into our nation's past. We continued onto the pretty fishing village of Nubeena via the unique Remarkable Cave. The cave gets its name because of its eerie resemblance to the shape of Tasmania. From Nubenna, we travelled through the beautiful countryside back to Dunalley.


Day 6
Sunday 12th January 2014
Campsite: Dunalley Hotel
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.893557 S 147.805316 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range: 16-24C
Activities: Caught up with our blog and performed some maintenance on the car and caravan.


Day 7
Monday 13th January 2014
Campsite: Bruny Hotel Campground, Alonnah
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.322016 S 147.2422389 E
Cost of Camping Site: $5.00 a night
Distance travelled: 130 kms
Temperature Range: 16-28C
Activities: Restocking the caravan with food and water. Washing at Sorell and ferry trip to Bruny Island.
We left Dunalley and drove into Sorrell to restock and wash before heading off to catch the ferry from Kettering to Bruny Island.Bruny Island is nearly 100 kilometres long from the tip of Dennes Point in the north to Cape Bruny Lighthouse in the south. The landscape changes dramatically from sheltered sandy beaches and farmlands in the north to tall forests, open bays and wild coastlines in the south. It is an island of rich history, wild nature, spectacular landscapes and delicious produce. It is a haven for wildlife. You'll find sea eagles, shearwaters, echidnas, wallabies including the rare white wallaby. Pods of dolphins and seals are a common sight along with migrating whales.
After leaving the vehicular ferry, we travelled down the north island on a good bitumen road to the neck where the road turned to gravel for a short distance before returning to bitumen the rest of the way to Alonnah. The campsite at Alonnah on the western side of South Bruny Island is located in the paddock to the side of the Bruny Hotel.

Day 8
Tuesday 14th January 2014
Campsite: Bruny Hotel Campground, Alonnah
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.322016 S 147.2422389 E
Cost of Camping Site: $5.00 a night
Distance travelled: 63 kms
Temperature Range: 12-28C
Activities: Sight-seeing.
We spent the morning working on the itinerary before heading off to Bruny Island Premium Wines to try their all day lunch specialising in local produce. We continued south to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse Station and museum which is a gravel road all of the way from the winery. It is Australia's second oldest lighthouse and from its location you can view the espanse and power of the Southern Ocean. On our return journey we took the forest drive across the island to the picturesque Adventure Bay before making our way back to the van.

Day 9
Wednesday 15th January 2014
Campsite: Bruny Hotel Campground, Alonnah
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.322016 S 147.2422389 E
Cost of Camping Site: $5.00 a night
Distance travelled: 55kms
Temperature Range: 16-21C
Activities: Wilderness boat tour and sight-seeing.
Today we decided to take the multi-award winning original Bruny Island 3 hour Wilderness Cruise. You cruise out of Adventure Bay, round Penguin Island and travel along the spectacular coastline towards The Friars. You get to experience wave carved sea stacks, beaches and bays, kelp forests, towering cliffs 272m high and the deep sea caves of South Bruny National Park. You drift up close and witness the awesome 'Breathing Rock' and pass through the narrow gap between the sheer cliffs and the 'Monument' and feel the power of nature at the point where the Tasman Sea meets the might of the Southern Ocean. Southward you drift quietly past nesting seabirds and a large haul-out, home to thousands of seals. On the way back to Adventure Bay we encountered a pod of dolphins surfing the bow wave.
Back on shore we visited the chocolate factory, Bruny Island Cheese and bought some oysters from Get Shucked before climbing the steps to the Neck Lookout and Penguin Rookery where you see the narrow isthmus that joins the north and south of the island. There are 238 steps to the top of the lookout.

Day 10
Thursday 16th January 2014
Campsite: Bruny Hotel Campground, Alonnah
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.322016 S 147.2422389 E
Cost of Camping Site: $5.00 a night
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range:16-21C
Activities: Relaxing day enjoying Bruny's peace and tranquility

Day 11
Friday 17th January 2014
Campsite: Ex Servicemen & Women's Club, Geeveston
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.1685159 S 146.928115 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 116kms
Temperature Range: 16-30C
Activities: Driving. .
Today we said a sad farewell to Bruny Island and headed towards Geeveston via Blackmans Beach, Kingston, Huonville, Port Huon and Franklin. We set up camp and had an enjoyable meal at the Ex Servicemen and Womens Club.

Day 12
Saturday 18th January 2014
Campsite: Ex Servicemen & Women's Club, Geeveston
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.1685159 S 146.928115 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 45 kms
Temperature Range: 19-25C
Activities: Sight-seeing.
We took a walk into town via the Platypus Lookout and paid a visit to the Southern Design Centre where you will find hand crafted furniture made from specialty timbers as well as lots of other items from local artists. We took a drive back into Huonville and on the way back we visited the Naval Museum in Franklin. It is privately owned and its owner has been preserving Naval History since 1963 and many parts of his collection are centuries old. On the way back to Geeveston, we were able to purchase fresh apples and cherries from one of the many roadside stalls.

Day 13
Sunday 19th January 2014
Campsite: Ex Servicemen & Women's Club, Geeveston
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.1685159 S 146.928115 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 30 kms
Temperature Range: 13-20C
Activities: Sight-seeing.
We drove back to Franklin and paid a visit to the Wooden Boat Centre, a renowned school of wooden boat building.The School endeavours to use Tasmania's unique boatbuilding timbers – the Huon Pine, as well as King Billy Pine, Celery Top and Tasmanian Blue Gum and Swamp Gum. You will learn about the history of boat building and water transport as well as examine the tools and maritime artifacts.
After a short walk around the Marina, we drove back to Geeveston and enjoyed a Scallop Mornay and Prawn Mornay pie before visiting the Forest and Heritage Centre.The Centre provides the visitor with a look into Tasmania's Forestry history.


Day 14
Monday 20th January 2014
Campsite: Ex Servicemen & Womens Club, Geeveston
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.1685159 S 146.928115 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 57 kms
Temperature Range: 13-25C
Activities: Sight-seeing.
Today we took the sealed forestry road to the Tahune Airwalk. The walk takes you through giant forests where you will see the tallest flowering plant in the world, the swamp gum and offers breathtaking views of the forest canopy and the Huon and Picton Rivers. From there we followed the Huon Track and returned to our car via the two swinging bridges suspended from the river banks of the Huon and Picton Rivers.
After cooking up a bbq lunch, we took the Huon Pine Walk along the river bank where you'll see the most accessible number of Huon Pines in all of Tasmania. Huon Pine is a rainforest timber and is only found in Tasmania. It has no sap and its durability is due to the presence of an essential oil which gives the pine its unique odour and makes it highly resistant to insect and fungal attacks. Huon Pines only grow about 1mm in width a year.
Back at the visitor's centre we watched a video on the tallest Tasmanian, the history of the Huon Pine and enjoyed a coffee before returning along the forestry road where we stopped and checked out the various lookouts and walks along the Arve Road.

Day 15
Tuesday 21st January 2014
Campsite: Southport Hotel & Caravan Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.424448 S 146.9726509 E
Cost of Camping Site: $18.00 unpowered
Distance travelled: 38kms to Southport from Port Huon
Temperature Range: 12-22C
Activities: Travelled back to Port Huon to refill the watertanks and then resumed our trip back south via Geeveston and Dover to Southport to set up camp. Went for a drive along the road to Cockle Bay before checking the campsites in the area. Southport is a beautiful seaside town with wonderful views in a picturesque bush setting and has Australia's southern-most hotel.


Day 16
Wednesday 22nd January 2014
Campsite: Catamaran, Recherche
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43°32'54.37"S 146°53'15.80"E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 27 kms
Temperature Range: 11-21C
Activities: Travelled from Southport to Catamaran campsite. Set up camp and walked the foreshore.

Day 17
Thursday 23rd January 2014
Campsite: Catamaran, Recherche
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43°32'54.37"S 146°53'15.80"E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 6 kms
Temperature Range: 10-25C
Activities: Travelled to Cockle Creek and explored the foreshore and historic attractions.
Worked on the blog and caught up with friends by phone at Cockle Creek where the mountains and the forests meet the Great Southern Ocean.

Day 18
Friday 24th January 2014
Campsite: Catamaran, Recherche
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43°32'54.37"S 146°53'15.80"E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range:12-21C
Activities: Wet and windy today so we spent the day relaxing and worked on a Photo CD.


Day 19
Saturday 25th January 2014
Campsite: Catamaran, Recherche
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43°32'54.37"S 146°53'15.80"E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range:10-18C
Activities: Another relaxing day indoors as it was cold and wet most of the day.

Day 20
Sunday 26th January 2014
Campsite: Ex Servicemen & Womens Club, Geeveston
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.1685159 S 146.928115 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 117 kms
Temperature Range: 12-28C
Activities: Sight-seeing and shopping.
We left our campsite and made our way to the Ida Bay Railway to take a trip on the last operating tramway in Tasmania. The 2'0” gauge line was constructed in 1922 to carry limestone from the quarries southeast of the Lune River to a wharf at Brick Point on Ida Bay. After our trip we drove onto the Hastings Caves and Thermal Pool. We took a guided tour through Newdegate Cave, one of the largest dolomite caves in the southern hemisphere. The cave is a wide open, multi-levelled cave with hall-like passages leading to large chambers decorated with crystal straws and stalactites. The temperature in the cave averages 9 degrees C and the 1km return trip includes 245 stairs each way.
We had planned to visit the Thermal Pool but we were unable to find anywhere to park our car and van as the area allocated to heavy vehicles was full of cars. We continued on through Dover where we stopped for lunch before restocking our supplies in Huonville and filling up with water in Port Huon.

Day 21
Monday 27th January 2014
Campsite: Ex Servicemen & Womens Club, Geeveston
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.1685159 S 146.928115 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range: 10-34C
Activities: Caught up with housekeeping and giving the car and caravan a good wash.


Day 22
Tuesday 28th January 2014
Campsite:Ex Servicemen & Womens Club, Geeveston
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.1685159 S 146.928115 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 40 kms
Temperature Range: 14-39C
Activities: Sight-seeing.
We took a drive to see the Enchanted Woods, a gift shop displaying some wonderful Tasmanian woodcraft as well as items by various other artists. We continued onto Ranelagh and visited the Home Hill Winery and Restaurant before moving onto the Apple Museum. The Smith family has been farming apples in the Huon Valley for 4 generations with William Smith beginning it all in 1888. The orchard moved to organic production in 1999.


Day 23
Wednesday 29th January 2014
Campsite:Gordon Reserve
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.261519 S 147.2424309 E
Cost of Camping Site: $5.00
Distance travelled: 95kms
Temperature Range : 15-24C
Activities: Driving
We drove back to Port Huon to fill up with water and do some washing before taking the scenic drive along the Channel Highway via Woodstock and Cygnet before setting up camp on the waterfront in Gordon.

Day 24
Thursday 30th January 2014
Campsite:Gordon Reserve
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.261519 S 147.2424309 E
Cost of Camping Site: $5.00
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range: 16-29C
Activities: A relaxing day in a top location.

Day 25
Friday 31st January 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 84kms
Temperature Range: 18-28C
Activities: Travelled from Gordon through Hobart to Campania via Moonah. Shopped for caravan parts. Set up base at a friends property at Campania.

Day 26
Saturday 1st February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 30kms
Temperature Range: 15-31C
Activities: Drove into Sorrell, housekeeping & washing

Day 27
Sunday 2nd February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 65kms
Temperature Range: 16-32C
Activities: Dropped Ken off at the Hobart Airport and went shopping

Day 28
Monday 3rd February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range: 22-23C
Activities: A relaxing day reading and watching movies.

Day 29
Tuesday 4th February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 55kms
Temperature Range: 10-18C
Activities: Worked on the blog and collected Ken from Hobart Airport.

Day 30
Wednesday 5th February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 65kms
Temperature Range: 10-25C
Activities: Sight-seeing & shopping.
This morning we drove into Hobart to keep an appointment at the physio before restocking our supplies and refuelling. We also visited the Barilla Bay Oyster Farm where we enjoyed some of their fresh oysters for lunch. We purchased some fresh oysters to take back to the van for $11.90 a dozen. They also had scallops and abalone for sale. Abalone was $175.00 a kilo. Upon returning to the van we had an enjoyable evening relaxing around the pool with our friends.

Day 31
Thursday 6th February 2014
Campsite: Blackburn Park, Campbell Town
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.932798 S 147.494598 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 99 kms
Temperature Range: 12-26C
Activities: Sight-seeing.
We left Campania and made our way along the Heritage Highway. There are many historic towns with a country village atmosphere and beautiful sandstone architecture tucked away amongst the rolling countryside of the Midlands. First stop was Oatlands where you will find Callington Mill, built in 1837, and the only working 19th century Windmill in Australia. It produces organic stoneground flour. The town has 87 old sandstone buildings in the main street alone, among them the oldest Supreme Courthouse in Australia.
We continued on and dropped into Ross for lunch. The major attraction in Ross is the bridge which was built in 1836. It has 186 intricate carvings that were deemed to be so good that they won the convict stonemason a free pardon. After a walk around town and having explored some of the shops we drove onto Campbell Town and set up camp on the banks of the river for the evening.

Day 32
Friday 7th February 2014
Campsite:Evandale Falls Park, Evandale
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.571337 S 147.254358 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 52kms
Temperature Range: 15-29C
Activities: Sight-seeing.
Before leaving Campbell Town we took a stroll through the old garrison town. Because of its rich soil it became a substantial rural area and today is a major sheep farming region. As you walk along the main street you will notice pavers that have been laid on each side of the main street in memory of all the convicts sent to Australia. Each paver bears a name and information about the convict. Campbell Town also has an excellent Book Cellar with hundreds of books to choose from at bargain prices.
We continued on our way and after setting up camp and a bite to eat we took the road to Ben
Lomond National Park. The imposing and precipitous cliffs rise above rural pastures and forestry land and is home to a wide variety of alpine plants and animals and in seasons of good snowfall is the main focus of downhill skiing in Tasmania. Its highest point, the summit of Legges Tor (1572m) is the second highest peak in Tasmania. You reach the plateau after a beautiful and steep drive with a series of spectacular hairpin bends known as Jacobs Ladder.

Day 33
Saturday 8th February 2014
Campsite:Old Mac's Farm & Fishery, Norwood
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41°26'51.88"S 147°10'45.23"E
Cost of Camping Site: $10 unpowered
Distance travelled: 20 kms
Temperature Range: 18-34C
Activities: Sight-seeing.
We left Evandale, which is known for its annual Penny Farthing Race and drove onto Norwood. We set up camp at Old Mac's Farm and Fishery which is situated in a beautiful natural setting around a lake and is only 4kms from the centre of Launceston. We then drove into Launceston and spent the remainder of the day at the annual Festivale, a festival held in City Park and showcasing the best of Tasmania's food, wine and music.

Day 34
Sunday 9th February 2014
Campsite:Old Mac's Farm & Fishery, Norwood
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41°26'51.88"S 147°10'45.23"E
Cost of Camping Site: $10 unpowered
Distance travelled: 0 kms
Temperature Range: 20-31C
Activities: Relaxed around the campsite reading and hanging onto our hats. A very windy day.

Day 35
Monday 10th February 2014
Campsite: Pumphouse Bay Campground, Arthur's Lake
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41°59'16.00"S 146°51'36.48"E
Cost of Camping Site: $8.00 non-powered
Distance travelled: 106 kms
Temperature Range: 10-28 C
Activities: Driving.
We left Old Mac's and headed towards Arthurs Lake, Tasmania's most popular trout fishery. Along the way we stopped off at Longford to purchase an inland fishing licence. After some lunch we continued on our way up the steep mountain highway past Poatina and set up camp at Pumphouse Bay Campground. The height at the topped of the range topped 1300 metres.
The water in Arthurs Lake is used for hydro electricity generation with the water being pumped into Great Lake to feed the power station at Poatina. Brown Trout are the only species of trout recorded at Arthurs Lake. Our neighbour at the camp took his boat out in the afternoon and returned with a catch. He gave us one to have for dinner that night.

Day 36
Tuesday 11th February 2014
Campsite:Pumphouse Bay Campground, Arthur's Lake
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41°59'16.00"S 146°51'36.48"E
Cost of Camping Site: $8.00 non-powered
Distance travelled: 2 kms
Temperature Range: 9-28C
Activities: Fishing and kayaking in the lake.
Tried fishing from the kayak but the water was too rough. I had enough trouble keeping upright let alone trying to fish.

Day 37
Wednesday 12th February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 120 kms
Temperature Range: 13-25C
Activities: Travelled from Arthurs Lake to Campania via Bothwell. Set up camp, washed and emptied the car in preparation for taking the car to the panel shop.

Day 38
Thursday 13th February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 61kms
Temperature Range: 16-28C
Activities: Dropped the car into the panel shop and collected the compact rental car. Shopped for groceries to restock the caravan. Performed some maintenance on the caravan.

Day 39
Friday 14th February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 45kms
Temperature Range: 15-17C
Activities: Driving.
Today we drove back to Barilla Bay to purchase some more oysters before checking out all the specials at Anaconda at Cambridge. On the way back to Campania we dropped into the Wicked Cheese Company to taste and buy some of their cheeses. While there we decided to have one of their double ice cream cones for $3.50. It would have to have been one of the biggest ice creams we have ever seen. It was a bit like having a meal. We might have to pay them another visit.

Day 40
Saturday 15th February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 66 kms
Temperature Range: 18-28C
Activities: Visited the Salamanca Markets in Hobart
We drove into Hobart to visit the Salamanca Markets which are held every Saturday from 8.30am to 3pm in Hobart's historic Salamanca Place. The Markets are home to more than 300 stalls showcasing a mix of traditional crafts, emerging artisan makers, vintage finds and fresh produce. The sandstone warehouses in Salamanca Place house a range of unique galleries, restaurants, cafes, bars and designer shops. After spending a couple of hours at the markets we took a stroll along the waterfront and checked out some of the sailing boats up for sale before making our way back to Campania where we enjoyed a bbq with our friends and their family and another couple of caravanners who had dropped in for a couple of days. A couple of storms passed through during the evening.

Day 41
Sunday 16th February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 75 kms
Temperature Range: 17- C
Activities: Visited the Richmond Highland Games & the township of Kempton
Richmond was hosting the Highland Games today so we thought we would check it out. Lots of different pipebands were participating along with various highland dancers. We strolled through some more of Richmond's shops before taking a drive to Kempton to see how their festival was going. By the time we got there it was winding up. We returned to Campania and worked on the blog.

Day 42
Monday 17th February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled:104 kms
Temperature Range: 14-20 C
Activities: Sight-seeing.
Today we took a drive to Seven Mile Beach and returned along the South Arm via Glenorchy.

Day 43
Tuesday 18th February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled:66 kms
Temperature Range: 15-22 C
Activities: Sight-seeing.
Today we visited Mawson's Huts Replica Museum which stands on the waterfront in Hobart, near the wharf from which the SY Aurora sailed south. The museum gives an insight into the daily lives of the expeditioners who spent two winters living and working in the windiest place on Earth. A visit to the museum will help to conserve the unique historic buildings that were built as the base for Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911-14.
After enjoying some seafood on the waterfront we returned to the van.

Day 44
Wednesday 19th February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 25kms
Temperature Range:13-24 C
Activities: Visited the hairdresser & worked on the computer
While Maria went to the hairdressers I worked on the itinerary and later on in the afternoon we chatted with another couple who were staying with our friends.

Day 45
Thursday 20th February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 70 kms
Temperature Range:16 - 24C
Activities: Visited Cadbury and Mona.
We started the day with a visit to the Cadbury Visitor Centre where you can learn how Cadbury chocolates are made, taste raw materials and the finished product and receive a free gift upon arrival. You can visit the retail shop for extra special chocolate prices and merchandise. The original Cadbury factory was established in 1921.
From there we moved onto Mona (Museum of Old and New Art). It is not your typical museum and features an interesting collection of contemporary art. One of the most bizarre exhibits is a machine depicting the human intestinal tract. It is fed at 11.00am and 4.00pm each day and poos at 2.00pm daily. Mona does not have labels or information panels next to displays, rather visitors are provided with a touch-screen device called the O that allows them to learn more, listen to interviews with the artists and even rate the works. A restaurant, cafe, shop, cinema, wine bar, cellar door are also part of the complex.

Day 46
Friday 21st February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range: 16-26C
Activities: Housework, worked on caravan oven and relaxed around the pool.

Day 47
Saturday 22nd February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 62kms
Temperature Range:15-28C
Activities: Sight-seeing.
We drove to Bellerive and had an enjoyable time exploring the Kangaroo Bluff historic site and gun battery. It is also a great spot to watch all the yachts sailing on the river. After a walk along the pier and a seafood lunch on the harbour we returned to the van. We were invited to our friend's neighbours for dinner where we enjoyed some of their home-made pizzas cooked in their wood-fired pizza oven.

Day 48
Sunday 23rdFebruary 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 77kms
Temperature Range:11-28C
Activities: Visited New Norfolk antique shops and had lunch in the town square.

Day 49
Monday 24th February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:15-17C
Activities: Washing and relaxing.

Day 50
Tuesday 25th February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:13-30C
Activities: Relaxing and reading.

Day 51
Wednesday 26th February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 36kms
Temperature Range:15- 19C
Activities: Shopping at Sorrell.

Day 52
Thursday 27th February 2014
Campsite: Campania
Distance travelled: 66kms
Temperature Range:11-25C
Activities: Sight-seeing & collected the Discovery.
Early this morning we dropped off the rental car and walked to Salamanca Place for a coffee before taking Kelly's Steps, constructed by explorer James Kelly, up to Battery Point, one of the earliest established suburbs in Australia. It is full of sandstone buildings, cute cottages and shops. We walked on to the Maritime Museum of Tasmania which has a fascinating collection that explores the state's important historic link with the sea. Among the many displays are shipwreck artifacts, an Aboriginal bark canoe and a lighthouse lens.
From there we moved onto the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery which encompasses a wide range of themes. It is situated on Hobart's waterfront at Sullivans Cove and is said to be a museum within a museum because the buildings themselves and the land they occupy tell many fascinating stories about Tasmania's rich and complex history. We left the museum and walked back up to Battery point where we enjoyed a lovely counter lunch at Shipwrights Inn.
After lunch we walked to Landrover to pick up some spare parts before continuing onto the panel beaters to collect the disco.

Day 53
Friday 28th February 2014
Campsite: Edgar Campsite Lake Peddar
Campsite Co-ordinates:43.030646 S 146.349826 E
Cost of Camping Site:Free
Distance travelled: 148kms
Temperature Range:9-26C
Activities: Driving and sight-seeing.
We left Campania and made our way to New Norfolk to refuel and have lunch before continuing onto the Salmon Ponds, the oldest trout hatchery in the Southern Hemisphere. It has operated since the 1860s and trout raised here are used to complement Tasmania's world renowned fishery. The grounds feature large ponds brimming with different species of fish up to 8 kilograms, including Rainbow, Brown, Brook, Tiger and Albino Trout and Atlantic Salmon. While we were there a wild platypus came up from the Plenty River to visit the ponds and he could be seen scuttling along the ground going from pond to pond.
After leaving the Salmon Ponds we drove onto Mt Field where we planned to stay for the night but because it was quite crowded with only one small spot left we continued to Lake Peddar via Scotts Peak road and set up camp at Edgar Dam Campground. Scotts Peak Road is gravel for the 30km's but the surface is as good as the bitumen, just dusty.


Day 54
Saturday 1st March 2014
Campsite: Edgar Campsite Lake Peddar
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.030646 S 146.349826 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:15-22C
Activities:
We went for a walk, set up the satellite dish and relaxed around the fire in the early evening.

Day 55
Sunday 2nd March 2014
Campsite:Edgar Campsite Lake Peddar
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.030646 S 146.349826 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 16kms
Temperature Range:13-21C
Activities:
Took a drive further along the forestry road to Scotts Peak Dam and its lookouts. Scotts Peak is located in the middle of the dam. There is a good boat ramp and jetty located on the western end of the dam wall.

Day 56
Monday 3rd March 2014
Campsite:Edgar Campsite Lake Peddar
Campsite Co-ordinates: 43.030646 S 146.349826 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:10-25C
Activities: Kayaking & fishing.
I explored the Edgar Pond just below the campground in my kayak and tried a bit of fishing with my lures but with no success. A great area to explore. The scenery is truly magic.
Day 57
Tuesday 4th March 2014
Campsite: Edendale Bethune Campground near Hamilton
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.53631 S 146.730111 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 157kms
Temperature Range:13-29C
Activities: Driving, sight-seeing, washing.
We left Lake Peddar and made our way to Mt Field National Park and took the walk to Russell Falls. Mt Field National Park is one of Tasmania's oldest national parks and is known for its tall forests and waterfalls in the lower sections to glaciated mountains, windswept moors and tranquil lakes of the highlands. Ferns line the track edges on the walk to Russell Falls, while giant eucalypts and myrtles tower overhead. Russell Falls is also home to glow worms.
We continued to Hamilton where we caught up with the washing and refilled the water tanks before driving down the road to Edendale refuelling on the way.

Day 58
Wednesday 5th March 2014
Campsite: King William Lake, Derwent Bridge
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.146955 S 146.2176629 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 92kms
Temperature Range:18-19C
Activities: Driving, sight-seeing, fishing.
We left our campsite and made our way to Derwent Bridge. Along the way we stopped off at the Tarraleah lookout over the hydro-electric scheme. From there we moved onto the WALL in the Wilderness, Australia's most ambitious self funded art project. Sculptor Greg Duncan is creating a commemoration to those who helped shape the past and present. The WALL is being hand carved in timber panels 3 metres high, 1 metre wide, and on completion will be one hundred metres long. Greg expects to complete the WALL towards the end of 2015 and at the moment you can witness the evolution of the wall, from the drawings, the roughing out and the various stages of detailing to the point of completion. No photos are allowed.
We continued onto our campsite where I threw a line in the lake. Not a bite, just lost a lure on a snag.


Day 59
Thursday 6th March 2014
Campsite:King William Lake, Derwent Bridge
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.146955 S 146.2176629 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:8-21C
Activities:
Worked on the blog.

Day 60
Friday 7th March 2014
Campsite:Queenstown Sportsground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.074971 S 145.559406 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 86kms
Temperature Range:18-C
Activities: Travelled to Queenstown stopping off at the Nelson Falls to stretch the legs. Caught up with grocery shopping in Queenstown before giving the Disco a wash.


The road down into Queenstown has more than it's fair share of hairpin bends in a small car let alone with a rig that is over 13.5 metres long. Add to that, the drop off on the left side of the rig and the width of the road meant that you couldn't sightsee if you were the driver.
We set up camp on the edge of the football oval, a Gravel Oval, the only silica gravel oval in the world. Heavy rain makes grass or turf impractical to use and maintain. It is now Heritage Listed.
Queenstown is reknown for its remarkable mining heritage. The discovery of gold and copper deposits at the Iron Blow in the 1880's led to the opening of the vast operations of the Mt Lyell Mining and Railway Co. The bare hills of Queenstown remain an incredible sight. The forests were felled to stoke the furnaces of the many mining companies in the early days and the smelting process produced sulphur fumes which destroyed the remaining vegetation. The slopes are making a slow recovery and some fresh growth has begun to appear.

Day 61
Saturday 8th March 2014
Campsite:Queenstown Sportsground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.074971 S 145.559406 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:12-28C
Activities: Visited the Gallery Museum and walked through town.
We walked into town and checked out the Miner's Siding situated in centenary park. It consists of a sculpture and a series of copper plaques depicting special events and dates in Queenstown. We spent the remainder of the day at the Galley Museum. The Museum has been established in the Old Imperial Hotel, which was built with locally made bricks in the 1890's. It features the unique Mt. Lyell disaster display, in excess of 1,000 photographs mostly dated prior to the 1940's, items of household equipment and personal effects which show the working, social and home life during the early days of the West Coast.

Day 62
Sunday 9th March 2014
Campsite: Queenstown Sportsground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.074971 S 145.559406 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 60kms
Temperature Range:16-29C
Activities: Took a drive to the lookout in town, Lake Margaret, Lake Burbury and the Queenstown Railway station
We drove up to the Spion Kop Lookout, a steep knoll in the centre of Queenstown. The hill is named after a battle in the Boar War and was developed as a Lookout by the local Lions Club in 1990. , From there we drove out to Lake Margaret one of the earliest Hydro Projects in Tasmania and constructed by the Mt Lyell Railway Co in 1914 and continued onto Lake Burbury before dropping into the Queenstown Railway Station where you will find the majestic steam train which if you choose to do the tour will take you through the West Coast Wilderness.

Day 63
Monday 10th March 2014
Campsite: Strahan Golf Course
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.145969 S 145.316055 E
Cost of Camping Site: $10 unpowered
Distance travelled: 49kms
Temperature Range:19-30C
Activities: Travelled from Queenstown to Strahan, booked our Gordon River cruise and had a walk through town.

Day 64
Tuesday 11th March 2014
Campsite: Strahan Golf Course
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.145969 S 145.316055 E
Cost of Camping Site: $10 unpowered
Distance travelled:30kms
Temperature Range:14-29C
Activities: Drove around Strahan and out to Macquarie Heads.
Strahan is a pretty village found on the edge of beautiful Macquarie Harbour. It is the gateway to the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, renowned for thrilling rafting as much as the publicity garnered during the 1980's regarding the proposed dam development as part of the hydro-electricity scheme.

Day 65
Wednesday 12th March 2014
Campsite: Strahan Golf Course
Campsite Co-ordinates: 42.145969 S 145.316055 E
Cost of Camping Site: $10 unpowered
Distance travelled: 3kms
Temperature Range:12-23C
Activities: Went on the Gordon River Cruise.
The cruise takes you along the beautiful Macquarie Harbour and out through Hell's Gates before returning to the harbour to navigate up the Gordon River. The river can be navigated for 41km past the mainly impenetrable rainforest of the Franklin–Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. We saw aquaculture farms and stopped off for a guided tour of Sarah Island, the harshest penal colony in Tasmania. Of 85 convict deaths during its term as a prison, only 35 were from natural causes. The island was made famous in Marcus Clarks's novel 'For the Term of His Natural Life'.

Day 66
Thursday 13th March 2014
Campsite: Mackintosh Dam, Tullah
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.684895 S 145.6585519 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 105kms
Temperature Range:14-25C
Activities: Travelled from Strahan to Tullah via Zeehan and Rosebury. Visited the West Coast Pioneers Museum at Zeehan before setting up camp at Mackintosh Dam a few kilometres along a bitumen road from Tullah.
The West Coast Pioneers' Museum which has an historic collection of the original Zeehan School of Mines and Metallurgy, a world class crystal and mineral collection, photographic collections dedicated to all the West Coast towns, classic locomotives, an underground mine simulation and a mining machinery display. The visit also includes access to the historic Gaiety Theatre built in 1898 and currently under restoration, the Police Station and the Court House.

Day 67
Friday 14th March 2014
Campsite: Mackintosh Dam, Tullah
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.684895 S 145.6585519 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:15-25C
Activities: Relaxing, reading and fishing.
Tried fishing in the Mackintosh with no luck again. I even tried some burley with no success. No bites again, I will have to try some bait instead of lures which don't work for me or the fish!

Day 68
Saturday 15th March 2014
Campsite: Mackintosh Dam, Tullah
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.684895 S 145.6585519 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:17-20C
Activities: Relaxing and planning our itinerary

Day 69
Sunday 16th March 2014
Campsite: Waratah Caravan and Camping Ground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.684895 S 145.6585519 E
Cost of Camping Site: $26 powered
Distance travelled: 54kms
Temperature Range:12-15C
Activities: Travelled from Mackintosh Dam to Waratah via Tullah , set up camp and explored the town. Caught up with the washing. Kept out of the rain and cold.
Tin was discovered in 1871 at the Mount Bischoff tin deposit, later to become the richest tin mine in the world at the time, thereby putting Waratah on the map. It has many old buildings scattered along its main street but its best feature is its spectacular waterfall right in the main street.

Day70
Monday 17th March 2014
Campsite: Waratah Caravan and Camping Ground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.684895 S 145.6585519 E
Cost of Camping Site: $20 un-powered
Distance travelled: 124kms
Temperature Range:10-21C
Activities: Travelled to Corinna with the car and went on the cruise on the Pieman River.
We travelled into Corinna without the caravan on a road which was sealed for the first 40 kilometres to Savage River before turning to a silica based road. The silica road was in very good condition comparable with the bitumen back to Waratah but had heaps of bends. The trip took us 75 minutes to travel the 61 kilometres from Waratah.
The cruise takes you 20km down the river in a 1939 Huon Pine River Cruiser, Arcadia 11 to Pieman Head where the river meets the Southern Ocean at a pristine white beach. You cruise through ancient trees some 60 metres high and 1,000 years old.
We returned to Waratah where we enjoyed dinner at the local pub with a couple of travellers from Brisbane.

Day 71
Tuesday 18th March 2014
Campsite: Cooee Point Reserve, Cooee
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.0390469 S 145.877616 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 75kms
Temperature Range:11-20C
Activities: Travelled from Waratah to Cooee via the Hellyer Gorge.
Went for a walk on the Hellyer Gorge trail which travelled through some rainforest down to the river and returned by the main road near the bridge. Set up camp at Cooee and went into town and caught up with shopping in Burnie.
Burnie itself was settled in 1827 and is Tasmania's fourth largest city due to both the pulp and paper mill and life as a busy container port. In its hey day The Pulp employed 3500 people, and after 75 years of supporting the families of Burnie, the mill finally ceased operation in June 2010.


Day 72
Wednesday 19th March 2014
Campsite: Cooee Point Reserve, Cooee
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.0390469 S 145.877616 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled:42kms
Temperature Range:12-24C
Activities: Visited the Makers Centre and the barber at Burnie before heading for the township of Penguin on the north coast. Checked out a couple of free campsites on the coast before heading back to Burnie and refuelling the car and diesel heater.

The Makers' Workshop which opened in 2009 is a place that honours Burnie's history, makers, innovators and artists. It includes visitor services, cafe, cheese shop, gallery and gift shop, a paper making factory, interpretative displays and studios for working artists.
The lovely little town of Penguin nestles at the foot of the Dial Range and is named after the little Penguin found in rookeries along the coast. At 33cm in length and weighing between 1-2kg, it is the smallest of the seventeen species of penguin. The garbage bins are penguin-shaped and there is a three metre Big Penguin on the foreshore.

Day 73
Thursday 20th March 2014
Campsite: Godfrey's Beach Stanley
Campsite Co-ordinates: 40.753085 S 145.293771 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled:76kms
Temperature Range:12-24C
Activities: First thing this morning, we caught up with the washing and then travelled from Cooee through Wynyard and Boat Harbour before setting up camp at Godfrey's Beach at Stanley.

Wynyard was once a fishing port and is dominated by Table Cape, a spectacular plateau with 180 metre high rocky walls which fall steeply to the ocean below. It is also known for its Tulip Farms and Australia's largest collection of veteran Ford vehicles.

Stanley was settled in 1825 as the base for the Van Diemen's Land Company to administer vast sheep farms across Tasmania's North West. You can explore the historic village with a self-guided walk along its streets of stone cottages, one of which is Lyons Cottage, the birthplace of Australia's only Tasmanian Prime Minister. Joseph Lyons was the Prime Minister of Australia between 1932 until his death in 1939. He is remembered for providing stable leadership during the Great Depression.

Day 74
Friday 21st March 2014
Campsite: Godfrey's Beach Stanley
Campsite Co-ordinates: 40.753085 S 145.293771 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 50kms
Temperature Range:18 Min-13 MaxC
Activities: Visited Highfield Heritage house previously owned by the Van Diemen's Land Co. and took a drive to Smithton to check our next campsite.

Highfield Estate on the outskirts of Stanley was built as the headquarters of the Van Diemen's Land Company. The Historic Site includes the elegant 1830's homestead, chapel, cottages and farmyard buildings and is situated on the headland overlooking the impressive volcanic plug, the Nut and the picturesque village of Stanley. Highfield represents the capacity of human endeavour towards both enterprise and disaster through ambition, hardship and persistence in the face of terrible odds.
Stanley's two main industries are fishing and tourism but it is best known for the dominating landscape of The Nut, an unusual 152 metre tall rocky formation created when lava cooled to form basalt rock. A chairlift runs to the summit and there is also a walking track for the more athletic.

Day 75
Saturday 22nd March 2014
Campsite: Smithton Boat Ramp, Smithton
Campsite Co-ordinates: 40.837044 S 145.122442 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 23kms
Temperature Range:12-22C
Activities: Left our campsite at Godfrey's Beach and travelled into Stanley. Walked through the shops and took the chairlift to the top of the Nut. Did the 2 km circuit at the top of the Nut before walking back down the steep path, collecting the van and travelling to Smithton. Did some last minute shopping before setting up for the night in the park near the boat ramp in town.
Smithton is the commercial hub of the far North West, which services the needs of the surrounding agricultural areas renowned for their milk production, prime beef and seafoods. It is also the gateway to a true wilderness drive through ancient rainforest, large blackwood trees and the largest sinkhole in the Southern Hemisphere. Dismal Swamp is a 640 hectare sinkhole and there is a thrilling 110 metre slide from the reception centre to the swamp floor.

Day76
Sunday 23rd March 2014
Campsite: Manuka Campground, Arthur River
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.045175 S 144.6680639 E
Cost of Camping Site: $13.00 unpowered
Distance travelled: 63kms
Temperature Range:10-18C
Activities: Left Smithton and travelled to Arthur River via the Dismal Swamp and Marrawah. Set up camp in the campground before taking a drive through the township to the BBQ area at the "Edge of the World" on the south side of the Arthur River mouth. Finished the afternoon waiting for the beef roast to cook around the campfire.
The tiny settlement of Arthur River forms the northern boundary of The Tarkine, the largest temperate rainforest in Australia and the second largest in the world. They call Arthur River the 'Edge of the World' where waves rush to the shore and crash on the towers of rock that stand in the river's mouth. The river is wild and remote and has never been logged or dammed.

Day 77
Monday 24th March 2014
Campsite:Manuka Campground, Arthur River
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.045175 S 144.6680639 E
Cost of Camping Site: $13.00 unpowered
Distance travelled: 1km
Temperature Range:15-18C
Activities: Went for a cruise on the Arthur River with Arthur River Cruises.

The cruise takes you up the river into the Tarkine Wilderness. You cruise past myrtles, blackwoods, sassafras and ferns and white-bellied sea eagles. It includes a guided walk and a BBQ lunch and morning tea.

Day 78
Tuesday 25th March 2014
Campsite: Manuka Campground, Arthur River
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.045175 S 144.6680639 E
Cost of Camping Site: $13.00 unpowered
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:10-26C
Activities: Checked the brakes on the caravan and worked on the blog.

Day 79
Wednesday 26th March 2014
Campsite: Julius River Forest Reserve
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.154800 S 145.027481 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 58kms
Temperature Range:14-21C
Activities: Travelled from Arthur River to Julius River Forest Reserve.
After setting up camp we took the road to Lake Chisholm only to find it closed for roadworks. We drove back to Julius River Picnic Area and did the Sinkhole Walk and the Rainforest Walk. The walks take you through quite spectacular and dense rainforest.


Day80
Thursday 27th March 2014
Campsite: Boat Harbour Beach
Campsite Co-ordinates: 40.927375 S 145.616848 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled:101 kms
Temperature Range:16-18C
Activities: Travelled from Julius River Forest Reserve to Smithton to catch up with the washing and shopping. Continued on in the rain to Boat Harbour Beach where we set up camp for the night. Had a great dinner at the Surf Life Saving Club next to the campsite.

Day 81
Friday 28th March 2014
Campsite: Boat Harbour Beach
Campsite Co-ordinates: 40.927375 S 145.616848 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:16-25C
Activities: Walked the beach at beautiful Boat Harbour. Caught up with the blog and reading.
Boat Harbour Beach is a crescent shaped cove of white sand and crystal-blue water. It is a picture-perfect quiet holiday town where there's surfing when the swell is right, and at low tide there are rockpools brimming with marine life and transparent waters for snorkelling.

Day 82
Saturday 29th March 2014
Campsite: Hall Point, Sulphur Creek
Campsite Co-ordinates:
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 48kms
Temperature Range:18-26C
Activities: Travelled from Boat Harbour to Sulphur Creek shopping at Bunnings for a new shower hose before setting up camp at Sulphur Creek. Later relaxed around camp.

Day83
Sunday 30th March 2014
Campsite: Hall Point, Sulphur Creek
Campsite Co-ordinates:
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:17-27C
Activities: Relaxed around camp, checked the caravan brakes

Day 84
Monday 31st March 2014
Campsite: Bannons Bridge Park, Gunns Plains
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.250816 S 146.085329 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 28kms
Temperature Range:17-25C
Activities:Travelled into Cooee to buy new brake shoes for the caravan and later fitted them to the rear axle. Travelled from Sulphur Creek to Bannons Bridge Park on the Leven River at Gunns Plains

Day 85
Tuesday 1st April 2014
Campsite: Bannons Bridge Park, Gunns Plains
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.250816 S 146.085329 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 60kms
Temperature Range:7-24C
Activities: Paid a visit to the Leven Canyon and walked two of the trails.
Leven Canyon Reserve, almost 2,500 ha, is a refuge for Tasmanian plants, animals and birds. It provides vital habitat and hunting grounds for creatures like the Tasmanian Devil, spotted-tailed quoll, wedge-tailed eagle, eastern barred bandicoot and the grey goshawk. Cruickshanks Lookout, 275m above the Leven River, provides breathtaking views. Enough water runs through the canyon every day to satisfy the thirst of a major city. About 45,000-70,000 kilolitres each day.
The Fern Walk takes you past grand old treeferns up to 5m tall and 150 years old.



Day 86
Wednesday 2nd April 2014
Campsite: Forth Recreation Ground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.1889479 S 146.249328 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 25kms
Temperature Range:18-24C
Activities: Travelled from Gunns Plains to Forth Recreation Ground. Set up camp for the day


Day 87
Thursday 3rd April 2014
Campsite: Forth Recreation Ground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.1889479 S 146.249328 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 40kms
Temperature Range:10-24C
Activities:Drove into the Information Centre in Devonport before taking in the sights of the town finishing the afternoon at a coffe shop in East Devonport. Visited the Forth Pub for a fine evening meal.
Devonport is often called the gateway to Tasmania, being the Terminus for the Spirit of Tasmania vehicular ferries which cross Bass Strait most nights. It is a major city situated on the banks of the Mersey River. It has many galleries, antique shops, restaurants and cafes, and you can take a stroll around the Bluff headland to view Aboriginal rock engravings and the Mersey Bluff Lighthouse, which was constructed in 1889. There is a viewing platform and A Spirit of the Sea water feature which provides a close up view of ships entering or leaving the Mersey River.

Day 88
Friday 4th April 2014
Campsite: Sheffield RV Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates:41.382909 S 146.335766 E
Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 15kms
Temperature Range:15-24C
Activities: Travelled from Forth to Sheffield and set up camp. Took a walk through town admiring the many murals on display.
Sheffield is nestled beneath the stunning backdrop of Mt Roland. The Kentish Municipality is known as Tasmanias's Outdoor Art Gallery or The Town of Murals. It get its name from the more than 100 murals that adorn the buildings with colourful scenes depicting the area's history, even down to the rubbish bins. The Emporium and The World of Marbles are worth a visit.

Day 89
Saturday 5th April 2014
Campsite: Sheffield RV Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.382909 S 146.335766 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 104kms
Temperature Range:9-25C
Activities: Visited Cradle Mountain National Park and went on 3 short walks in the vicinity of the interperation Centre.
Cradle Mountain was proclaimed a National Park in 1927 after Gustav Weindorfer built a chalet in the forest for the use of bushwalkers and to be shared by all people for all time.Cradle Mountain, part of the World Heritage listed Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park, it is Tasmania's most popular destination. It is also the starting point for one of the world's great walks, the Overland Track, that finishes sixty-five kilometres further south at Lake St Clair, Australia's deepest fresh water lake. The park covers 1280 square kilometres of spectacular wilderness area with rugged mountains, transparent lakes, rainforest and alpine moors.
The Enchanted Walk and the King Billy Walk features very large old king billy pines. The Pencil Pine Falls and Rainforest Walk pass through mature pencil pine/myrtle rainforest and overlooks the Pencil Pine Falls. All are worth doing.

Day 90
Sunday 6th April 2014
Campsite: Sheffield RV Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates:41.382909 S 146.335766 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: kms
Temperature Range:11-20C
Activities: Paid a second visit to Cradle Mountain National Park and went on the Dove Lake circuit. Dropped back into Sheffield on the way home and had some retail therapy at the local clothing store.
The Dove Lake Circuit is Cradle's most popular walk. It is a 6.6km circuit that weaves its way through rainforest and past quartzite beaches and past Glacier Rock and the historic boatshed. Also worth doing.

Day 91
Monday 7th April 2014
Campsite: Sheffield RV Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates:41.382909 S 146.335766 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 3kms
Temperature Range:10-20C
Activities: Hairdressers for Maria and caravan maintenance and car washing for Ken. Finished the evening around a neighbours campfire.


Day 92
Tuesday 8th April 2014
Campsite: Deloraine Motorhome Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.522137 S 146.662115 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 43kms
Temperature Range:15-21C
Activities: Travelled from Sheffield to Deloraine. Set up camp at the Deloraine Motorhome Park. Refilled the LPG and checked out the novelty & OP shops.
Deloraine is a gorgeous town situated on the banks of the gently flowing Meander River and is famous hosting Australia's largest working craft fair each November. It is teeming with old buildings and sculptures, some bold, some quirky and some beautiful.

Day 93
Wednesday 9th April 2014
Campsite: Deloraine Motorhome Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.522137 S 146.662115 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 50kms
Temperature Range:17-20C
Activities: Went on a drive to visit Mole Creek, visited the Honey Farm and Silk Rose & Fudge at Chudleigh and Deloraine Creative Studios. Repaired the caravan battery charger after diagnosing a blown AC fuse in the power supply.
Mole Creek is famous for its Marakoopa and King Solomons Cave and its Glow-Worm tours. The caves are a constant 9 degrees year round.
Chudleigh, Tasmania's Village of Roses is a pretty village and “Roses of Chudleigh” offers all rose lovers a wonderful selection of rosy gifts and homewares. Next door you can see the complete life cycle of the Silk Worm Moth and look and feel numerous varieties of silk fabric. It also has a wonderful array of fudges to satisfy your taste buds.
The Honey Farm is well worth a visit as it has a very large range of honey on tasting. There are displays on some of the early forms of bee hives built out of straw with an operating bee hive on display.

Day 94
Thursday 10th April 2014
Campsite: Railton Free Park
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.3442999 S 146.423599 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 33kms
Temperature Range:15-24C
Activities: Travelled to Railton, caught up with the washing and kept out of the rain.

Day 95
Friday 11th April 2014
Campsite: Forth Recreation Ground
Campsite Co-ordinates: 41.1889479 S 146.249328 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 43kms
Temperature Range:16-C
Activities: Travelled from Railton to Forth and set up camp. Refuelled and shopped in town in preparation for our trip back to the mainland on Sunday. Updated the blog and washed the caravan.

Day 96
Saturday 12th April 2014
Campsite: Forth Recreation Ground
Campsite Co-ordinates:41.1889479 S 146.249328 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 20kms
Temperature Range:12-19C
Activities:Washed the car and visited friends at Latrobe




Final Leg of our Trip

Day 97
Sunday 13th April 2014
Campsite: Akoonah Park Berwick
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38.040403 S 145.365262 E
Cost of Boat Trip: $925
Distance travelled: Approx. (Ship 447kms), (Road 50kms)
Temperature Range:10-22C
Activities: Travelled from Devonport to Port of Melbourne on the Spirit of Tasmania. Arrived in Melbourne and travelled to Berwick, 50km south east of Melbourne.
Up early this morning in preparation for catching the Spirit of Tasmania back to Melbourne. After passing through quarantine and boarding the boat, we moved up to Deck 7 waiting for our departure from Devonport at 9.00am.
Tassie, we will definitely be back. Best State so far on our travels to visit!
During our day trip back to the mainland, Ken caught up with his book while Maria sat in on several movies that were showing in the theatre.
We passed the Spirit of Tasmania 1 around 1.00pm midway across the Bass Strait before entering the entrance to Port Phillip around 4.00pm. We finally docked at 6.40pm before disembarking at 7.00pm for our trip to Berwick. By then, the traffic had died down.

Day 98
Monday 14th April 2014
Campsite: Akoonah Park Berwick
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38.040403 S 145.365262 E
Cost of Camping Site: $20 a night powered
Distance travelled: 20kms
Temperature Range:11-22C
Activities: Recovered from the ferry trip from Tassie and went shopping to restock the caravan. Finished the evening around the communial campfire with other travelling companions.

Day 99
Tuesday 15th April 2014
Campsite: Akoonah Park Berwick
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38.040403 S 145.365262 E
Cost of Camping Site: $20 a night powered
Distance travelled: 65 kms
Temperature Range:10-22C
Activities: Went for a drive to the Frankston Information Centre.
Frankston has city status, but a broad and beautiful foreshore preserves its seaside village atmosphere. There are beachside restaurants, a coastal arts trail, walking paths, bike tracks, wetlands, flora and fauna reserves, the huge Sandsculpting Australia exhibition from December to April and the Asia Pacific Ironman in March. The most prominent structure on the Frankston Waterfront is the Pier. Originally built in 1857 and extended in 1864, it serviced the local fishing community and weekend visitors.

Day 100
Wednesday 16th April 2014
Campsite: Akoonah Park Berwick
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38.040403 S 145.365262 E
Cost of Camping Site: $20 a night powered
Distance travelled: 84kms
Temperature Range:11-22C
Activities: Went for a drive to Cranbourne and continued down the Neapean Peninsula via Blairgowrie, Rosebud, Rye and Sorrento to Portsea and visited the old Quarantine Station and Army Cadet Training School. We stopped at Sorrento for lunch before returning back to the caravan via Flinders.


Blairgowrie, Rosebud and Rye are very popular white sand family beaches.Rosebud's 4km foreshore has safe swimming beaches and a boardwalk for cycling and walking, sailing, fishing and sea kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and kite surfing.
Portsea and Sorrento's clifftop mansions are principally holiday homes, but their size and lavishness mean this is one of Australia's most expensive postcodes. Portsea is famous for its hotel on the beach, while Sorrento has many lovely, old limestone buildings. It is a very sophisticated village with cafes, food stores and more than 60 boutiques and galleries. Sorrento is also the starting point for the ferry to Queenscliff.
Point Nepean National Park is 560 hectares and is located at the very tip of the Mornington Peninsula. It has outstanding coastal scenery and panoramic views of Bass Strait and Port Phillip. Visitors can explore the military forts and tunnels, the historic Quarantine Station and view the memorial where Prime Minister Harold Holt went missing. The Quarantine Station has over 50 heritage listed buildings and was established in 1852 and was the second oldest permanent Quarantine Station in Victoria until 1980. From 1952 - 1985 the buildings also housed the Army Officer Cadet School (OCS) and the School of Army Health from 1985 – 1998.
I wanted to visit the Portsea area to check out the location because my brother in law, Rob had trained at OCS in 1967 before going to Vietnam and later returning to OCS as the school's Adjutant.

Day 101
Thursday 17th April 2014
Campsite: Akoonah Park Berwick
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38.040403 S 145.365262 E
Cost of Camping Site: $20 a night powered
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:-12-24C
Activities: Relaxed and worked on the itinerary.

Day 102
Friday 18th April 2014
Campsite: Akoonah Park Berwick
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38.040403 S 145.365262 E
Cost of Camping Site: $20 a night powered
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:16-22C Fine
Activities: Relaxed and worked on and updated the blog

Day 103
Saturday 19th April 2014
Campsite: Akoonah Park Berwick
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38.040403 S 145.365262 E
Cost of Camping Site: $20 a night powered
Distance travelled: 122kms
Temperature Range:11-15C Fine
Activities: Took another drive down the Mornington Peninsula, visited Crittenden and Karina wineries and returned via Hastings.

Day 104
Sunday 20th April 2014
Campsite: Akoonah Park Berwick
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38.040403 S 145.365262 E
Cost of Camping Site: $20 a night powered
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:16-19C Fine
Activities: Shopping, visited Markets in the showgrounds, worked on our itinerary & washing

Day 105
Monday 21st April 2014
Campsite: Akoonah Park Berwick
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38.040403 S 145.365262 E
Cost of Camping Site: $20.00
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:15-23C Fine
Activities: Did some housekeeping in preparation for continuing our journey tomorrow.

Day 106
Tuesday 22nd April 2014
Campsite: Lance Moon Park, Yanakie
Campsite Co-ordinates:38.811184 S 146.2044469 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 160kms
Temperature Range:18-19C Rainy in the morning, Fine in the afternoon
Activities: Refuelled the car and gas bottle and continued on our way via Venus Bay to Yanakie.

Day 107
Wednesday 23rd April 2014
Campsite:Franklin River Rest Area, Toora
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38.811184 S 146.2044469 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled:106kms
Temperature Range:15-22C Fine
Activities: Visited Wilsons Promontory and went on Norman Beach walk near Tidal River. Travelled back up the road to Franklin River Rest area near Toora and set up camp.
The “Prom”, as it is fondly called is located at the southernmost point of mainland Australia. Comprising 50,000 hectares of National Park, the Prom boasts fantastic beaches, spectacular rock formations, panoramic views and cool fern gullies. Emus, kangaroos and wombats roam the park and can often be seen. The National Park features more than 30 walks covering 130 km of tracks which vary in length and difficulty.

Day 108
Thursday 24th April 2014
Campsite:Franklin River Rest Area, Toora
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38.651976 S 146.299846 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:14-19C Rainy in the morning, Fine in the afternoon
Activities: Replaced and adjusted the brakes on the right side of the caravan.

Day 109
Friday 25th April 2014
Campsite: Franklin River Rest Area, Toora
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38.651976 S 146.299846 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:8-21C Fine
Activities: Replaced and adjusted the brakes on the left side of the caravan.
Finally have rectified the problems with the caravan brakes. I found that the new backing plates that I had installed on the front axle of the van before I left Brisbane had a stiffer return spring on the brake shoes. This meant that the electric magnets on the backing plates of the rear axle had weaker return springs and had been doing all of the work.

Day 110
Saturday 26th April 2014
Campsite: Willow Park, Rosedale
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38.142247 S 146.7917579 E
Cost of Camping Site: Gold coin donation
Distance travelled: 142kms
Temperature Range:16-19C Rain
Activities: Travelled from the Franklin River Rest Area via Yarram and Sale before setting up camp at Willow Park, just before Rosedale. Shopped at Sale and caught up with the washing during our lunch break outside of Yarram.

Day 111
Sunday 27th April 2014
Campsite: Willow Park, Rosedale
Campsite Co-ordinates: 38.142247 S 146.7917579 E
Cost of Camping Site: Gold coin donation
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:7-21C Fine
Activities: Went for the 2.8km return walk into town to check out the shops. Stopped for a cup of coffee and vanilla slice at the bakery.

Day 112
Monday 28th April 2014
Campsite: Yarra Glen Recreational Reserve
Campsite Co-ordinates: 37.661783 S 145.382731 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 193kms
Temperature Range:6-24C, Cloudy
Activities: Travelled from Rosedale via Moe and Warragul before heading up into the hills through Neerim South, Powelltown and Yarra Junction. Stopped at Healesville to check out the shops before heading onto Yarra Glen where we set up camp in the Recreational Ground.
Healesville is just under an hour from Melbourne and is situated right in the centre of the Yarra Valley food and wine district. It is known for its spectacular wildlife sanctuary and provides visitors with a host of other activities along with its stylish boutiques.

Day 113
Tuesday 29th April 2014
Campsite:Yarra Glen Recreational Reserve
Campsite Co-ordinates:37.661783 S 145.382731 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 18kms
Temperature Range:15-22C, Rain in the afternoon
Activities: Went for a drive to the wineries in the Dixons Creek area before having lunch at the local cafe. Returned to the van to catch up with the blog and charge the batteries.

Day 114
Wednesday 30th April 2014
Campsite: Yarra Glen Recreational Reserve
Campsite Co-ordinates: 37.661783 S 145.382731 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 16kms
Temperature Range:13-19C Early rain then fine
Activities: Went for a drive to Coombe Farm, Punt Road and St Huberts.
From architectural statements to tin sheds hidden amongst the vines, these vineyards are steeped in history. Coombe Farm was once the home of famous Australian Soprano Dame Nellie Melba and is one of the oldest and largest family-owned estates in the Yarra Valley and is still owned by Dame Nellie's descendants.
Punt Road gets its name from Punt Road in the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra, the site of thriving vineyards 150 years ago, while St Huberts was established in 1862 and is one of the vineyards that put the Yarra Valley on the map in the 1800s.

Day 115
Thursday 1st May 2014
Campsite: Yarra Glen Recreational Reserve
Campsite Co-ordinates: 37.661783 S 145.382731 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled:2kms
Temperature Range:10-15C Fine
Activities: Visited the doctor, walked through town
In Yarra Glen you can explore antique shops, a print gallery and independent boutiques – not a chain store in sight. It is also close to the Yarra Valley Dairy and the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery.

Day 116
Friday 2nd May 2014
Campsite:Stantons Bend, Rutherglen
Campsite Co-ordinates:36.041257 S 146.353744 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 307kms
Temperature Range:12-14C Showers
Activities: Travelled from Yarra Glen via Yea, Seymour, Puckapuynal and Wangaratta to Stantons Bend on the Murray River outside of Rutherglen. Visited the RAAC Tank Museum at Puckapuynal Army Camp.
The Royal Australian Armoured Corps (RAAC) Memorial and Army Tank Museum is located in Puckapunyal. The Museum hosts a collection of over 87 armoured vehicles and indoor displays featuring priceless relics from the Light Horse Era to the Vietnam War. The Museum was established to protect and conserve the artefacts of our defence heritage for future generations.

Day 117
Saturday 3rd May 2014
Campsite:Stantons Bend, Rutherglen
Campsite Co-ordinates: 36.041257 S 146.353744 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 18kms
Temperature Range:11-15C Cloudy with morning showers
Activities: Visited the information centre and Old Flour Mill in Corowa, had lunch and returned via Moodemeere Winery.
Once a bustling river port, Corowa-Wahgunyah has a colourful agricultural and gold mining history as well as being th catalyst which led to the Federation of Australia. Late in 1852 gold was discovered in the Beechworth district causing a great influx to the population.
The Old Flour Mill closed in 1970 and lay abandoned for 40 years. The Corowa Shire Council eventually sold the land and buildings to the Directors of the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory for $!.00 with the keen desire for something to be done to arrest the declining state of the heritage building. Since September 2009 the new company, known as Corowa Whisky and Chocolate has been busily restoring the flour mill and outbuildings. A confectionary sales area has been established in the main brick building along with a cafe and coffee shop.

Day 118
Sunday 4th May 2014
Campsite: Stantons Bend, Rutherglen
Campsite Co-ordinates: 36.041257 S 146.353744 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 20kms
Temperature Range:10-15C Sunny morning, cloudy & windy afternoon
Activities: Had lunch in Corowa and visited Stanton & Killeen & Pfeiffers wineries.


Day 119
Monday 5th May 2014
Campsite: Stantons Bend, Rutherglen
Campsite Co-ordinates: 36.041257 S 146.353744 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 20kms
Temperature Range:11-18C Fine
Activities: Had a BBQ lunch at Morris Wines, walked through Rutherglen and visited Chambers Winery
A visit to Rutherglen is to tap into the rich vein of heritage that was the foundation for the Australian wine industry and it is Victoria's premier wine region. The first gold prospecting party reached the hills on which the present day town of Rutheglen stands in 1860. Over the next 50 years the scale of gold mining operations grew until 1919 when mining was no longer viable and the region turned to agriculture. The region is a landscape of lush vineyards, rich yellow canola fields, quiet country lanes, idyllic farmscapes, riverside trails and sandy river beaches. Rutherglen's main street is vibrant with wine barrels of olive trees and bright red geraniums with largely unchanged historic architecture. It offers everything from vintage and designer clothing, contemporary homewares, quirky children's gifts, unique handcrafted items, antiques and collectables, works of art and old fashioned lollies and clocks.

Day 120
Tuesday 6th May 2014
Campsite: Stantons Bend, Rutherglen
Campsite Co-ordinates:36.041257 S 146.353744 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:12-23C Fine & sunny
Activities: Washed the car and caravan, worked on the blog and kayaked on the Murray

Day 121
Wednesday 7th May 2014
Campsite: Pioneer Bridges, Markwood
Campsite Co-ordinates:36.44243 S 146.525216 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled:126kms
Temperature Range:7-18C Fine
Activities: Packed up camp and travelled through Wodonga and Beechworth before heading for our campsite for the night at Pioneer Bridges just outside of Everton.
Beechworth was built on the splendour of the early gold-rush days and is recognised as Australia's finest historic gold-mining town. The Historic and Cultural Precinct is a collection of nationally significant buildings that tell the story of how early Australia grew and prospered. From booms and revolts against the government, multiculturalism, communication and beyond. Beechworth is a mini story of Australia.
You can stand in the dock and cell where Ned Kelly stood during his committal hearing at the Beechworth Courthouse; experience one of the finest and oldest regional museums in Victoria, the Burke Museum; send a telegraph from the Telegraph Station; and visit the Powder Magazine, purpose built to store the black powder used by gold mining companies. The buildings are Australia's best preserved living collection of how early Australia grew up and have been registered by Heritage Victoria and the National Trust.
Beechworth is renowned equally for its fantastic shopping opportunities where you can discover some of the best boutique shopping outside Melbourne. It has a mix of sophisticated and contemporary stores which offer a fantastic array of products from beautiful jewellery to quality home and garden wares, a great range of fashion, shoes and accessories, luxurious soaps and moisturisers, exquisite linen, ceramics, books, gifts and gourmet food.

Day 122
Thursday 8th May 2014
Campsite: Nimmo Bridge, Myrteford
Campsite Co-ordinates: 36.570001 S 146.717155 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled:98kms
Temperature Range:7-18C Fine
Activities: Travelled from Everton to Baileys Winery at Glenrowan before returning to Wangaratta to catch up with restocking the caravan with supplies. We continued onto Nimmo Bridge just outside of Myrteford and set up camp for the night on the creek bank.
Even before Glenrowan was thrust into Folklore by its association with Australia's most infamous bushranger, Ned Kelly, grapes had been planted at Baileys of Glenrowan. Nestled at the foot of the Warby Range, Baileys' driveway meanders past old winery buildings, a worker's cottage, a blacksmith's forge, stables, peppercorn trees and the original 1870s winery.

Day 123
Friday 9th May 2014
Campsite:Victoria Falls Camping Area
Campsite Co-ordinates:37.093371 S 147.425172 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 120kms
Temperature Range:7-17C Cloudy but fine
Activities: Travelled from Myrteford to Victoria Falls Camping area over Mt. Hotham and Dinner Plains before setting up camp. Went for a walk to find the falls but after 20 minutes returned to our campsite to sit around the campfire reading our books.
Mt Hotham is Victoria's highest ski resort and the road winding up to the top offers spectacular mountain panoramas as well as some historical sites. Mt Hotham and Dinner Plains both offer downhill, boarding and cross-country.
Victoria Falls was home to the state's first hydro-power scheme.
Day 124
Saturday 10th May 2014
Campsite: Tambo Crossing
Campsite Co-ordinates:37.51059 S 147.847913 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 86kms
Temperature Range:10-17C Cloudy, Rained overnight
Activities: Travelled from Victoria Falls down the valley to Tambo River Crossing where we set up camp for the night.
Tambo Crossing served as an important rest area for travellers in the 1800s and today it is prime farming land set alongside the Tambo River.

Day 125
Sunday 11th May 2014
Campsite: Tambo Crossing
Campsite Co-ordinates:37.51059 S 147.847913 E
Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:13-20C Fine
Activities: Mothers Day. Had a relaxing day reading, updating the blog and fishing.

Day 126
Monday 12th May 2014
Campsite:Log Crossing, Lakes Entrance
Campsite Co-ordinates:37.826032 S 147.939169 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 75kms
Temperature Range:7-18C
Activities: Travelled from Tambo Crossing down the Tambo Valley through Bruthen and Lakes Entrance where we refilled the water tanks. We brought some fresh prawns from one of the local fisherman at the marina and had lunch on the foreshore. We then headed for our campsite at Log Crossing in the forest at the back of Lakes Entrance. Relaxed the rest of the day while the washing machine did it's bit.

Day 127
Tuesday 13th May 2014
Campsite: Beside the Snowy River
Campsite Co-ordinates:37.740169 S 148.507453 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 76kms
Temperature Range:- 6-18C Fine & Sunny
Activities: Travelled through Lakes Entrance shopping and refuelling on the way to Marlo on the Snowy River. Set up camp in a small campsite on the edge of the Snowy River just outside of Orbust.

Day 128
Wednesday 14th May 2014
Campsite: Brodribb River Boat Ramp, Marlo
Campsite Co-ordinates:37.781800 S 148.532953 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 8kms
Temperature Range:- 8-21C Fine & Sunny
Activities: Travelled into Marlo with the caravan to have breakfast after being woken up by the local council who decided to mow the reserve that we were camped in. After breakfast, we found another spot at the boat ramp on the Brodribb River which flows into the Snowy. Tried fishing off the bank with no results. It must be the wrong time of the year. All the fish have gone on holidays.
Marlo is a small peaceful seaside town and it is where the Snowy River meets the ocean.

Day 129
Thursday 15th May 2014
Campsite: Genoa Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates:37.47215 S 149.591498 E
Cost of Camping Site: $5.00 donation
Distance travelled: 130kms
Temperature Range:- 10-23C Fine & Sunny
Activities: Travelled from Marlo via the coast road to the small township of Genoa. Genoa is the last township in Victoria before the NSW border on the Princes Highway.

Day 130
Friday 16th May 2014
Campsite:Genoa Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates:37.47215 S 149.591498 E
Cost of Camping Site: $5.00 donation
Distance travelled: 57kms
Temperature Range:- 7-25C Fine but Cloudy
Activities: Travelled from Genoa to the township of Mallacoota where we stopped for lunch and checked out the different boats used for fishing in this area. Left Mallacoota and travelled to Gypsy Point at the head of the inlet to try for some fish from the jetty. Still no bites. Very depressing, I wasn't the only one. Even one of the locals wasn't impressed.
Mallacoota is home to an unspoilt coast, from the popular Betka Beach and the rugged Quarry Beach where you can snorkel among the rocks, to the peaceful Secret Beach. Mallacoota's landscapes and wildlife attract holiday seekers and artists from around the world. The population swells from 3,000 to 15,000 during the summer months.

Day 131
Saturday 17th May 2014
Campsite: Sapphire Sun Resort, Eden
Campsite Co-ordinates:
Cost of Camping Site: $25.00 Powered
Distance travelled: 58kms
Temperature Range:- 9-25C Fine & Sunny
Activities: Travelled from Genoa to Eden and set up camp at the Sapphire Sun Resort. Travelled into Eden to purchase a fishing licence before heading for the naval jetty on the south side of Twofold Bay. I was told the previous day that this was a “hot” spot to catch fish. After walking along the jetty for over 600 metres, I tried from several spots on the jetty. In no time, I had caught my first squire but it was not a keeper. Next, I caught a number of small leatherjackets before I caught what I thought was a definite keeper. It was a shovelnose shark about 750mm long. For my efforts in landing the shark, I broke my rod in the process. Maybe lucky next time.

Eden is situated on deep Twofold Bay. It was once a whaling station but now it is the centre of whale-watching on the south coast during Spring. It is also a major tuna fishing town and the centre of the local timber industry.

Day 132
Sunday 18th May 2014
Campsite: Bodalla Forest Park
Campsite Co-ordinates:36.150631 S 150.096101 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 142kms
Temperature Range:- 11-24C Cloudy
Activities: Travelled through Eden via Merimbula, Tura Beach, Tathra, Bermagui and Narooma before setting up camp at Bodalla Forest Park just off the Princes Highway. On the way through Tathra, we stopped at the local oyster farm to stock up before heading into town for lunch. After lunch we headed for the wharf at the southern end of the bay. No one appeared to be catching any fish.
Merimbula is the tourist centre of the Sapphire Coast and is famous for its oysters, deep-sea fishing and surrounding white, sandy beaches, glorious National Parks and temperate year-round climate.
Tathra Beach is a fishing village and holiday haven and is also famous for its oysters. It has a maritime museum housed in the 150 year old wharf building.

Day 133
Monday 19th May 2014
Campsite: Moruya North Head Campground
Campsite Co-ordinates:35.903008 S 150.148687 E
Cost of Camping Site: $11.00 per night unpowered
Distance travelled: 40kms
Temperature Range:- 13-15C Fine & Sunny
Activities: Travelled from Bodalla to Moruya where I purchased a new fishing rod before setting up camp at the campground at North Head. I ended the day by fishing off the rock wall at the mouth of the river at low tide. No luck.


Day 134
Tuesday 20th May 2014
Campsite: Moruya North Head Campground
Campsite Co-ordinates:35.903008 S 150.148687 E
Cost of Camping Site: $11.00 per night unpowered
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:- 13-25C Fine & Sunny
Activities: Worked on the computer while Maria caught up with Tom Clancy. I ended the day by fishing off the beach just out from the caravan at low tide. No luck again.

The Name Moruya is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning Home of the Black Swan. During gold mining times, industries like dairying, fishing and oyster farming were an important part of the town's economy and still are today. Moruya also quarried stone and is famous for the fine-grained blue granite used in Sydney's Martin Place Cenotaph, Post Office, the Bank of NSW and the statue of Captain James Cook in Sydney's Botanic Gardens. The beautiful stone for the piers and pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge was also provided by Moruya's quarry.

Day 135
Wednesday 21st May 2014
Campsite: Moruya North Head Campground
Campsite Co-ordinates:35.903008 S 150.148687 E
Cost of Camping Site: $11.00 per night unpowered
Distance travelled: 58kms return
Temperature Range:- 13-25C Fine & Sunny
Activities: Took a drive to Batemans Bay where we had lunch in one of the local clubs before catching up with restocking the caravan. On the way back to Moruya, we stopped at Mogo where we shopped in a couple of the bookstores and visited a couple of galleries. Arriving back at camp, I went fishing again late in the afternoon on the rockwall at low tide. No luck again.

Batemans Bay is a mecca for watersport enthusiasts and nature lovers. Crystal clear waterways and natural bushlands offer a discovery playground where you can explore beautiful uncrowded beaches and sheltered coves, pristine lakes and lagoons and the magnificent Clyde River and its sparkling estuaries, plus a maze of bushwalking tracks.
The town of Mogo was born with the discovery of gold in the 1850s. However, the boom was short-lived and Mogo gradually declined to become a sleepy backwater. In the 1980s, Mogo became home to a small group of artists and craftspeople, some of whom still operate in town today. Mogo's architectural heritage has been maintained with shops and dwellings being built to compliment the surviving miners cottages. These buildings are now galleries and specialty shops brimming with traditional and modern art, exotic and unusual artefacts, elegant jewellery and home décor ceramics, collectibles, antiques and cafes.

Day 136
Thursday 22nd May 2014
Campsite: Moruya North Head Campground
Campsite Co-ordinates:35.903008 S 150.148687 E
Cost of Camping Site: $11.00 per night unpowered
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:11-26C
Activities: Late rise before heading out to the rock wall to try fishing either side of high tide. On the way out, I passed a large school of mullet in the shallows before stopping about midpoint on the rockwall where there were schools of fish on the beach side of the rockwall. I found out later that they were luderick on the surface with small salmon deeper down. After fishing for a while using fresh chicken and many nibbles, I finally landed a small salmon which I threw back. After a few hours, I gave up again


.Day 137
Friday 23rd May 2014
Campsite: Honeymoon Bay Camping, Jervis Bay
Campsite Co-ordinates:35.058104 S 150.7770559 E
Cost of Camping Site: $15.00 a night unpowered
Distance travelled: 175kms
Temperature Range:20-26C Early Shower then Fine
Activities:
Drove from Moruya via Batemans Bay and Milton to Jervis Bay. After passing through the Naval security checkpoint, we travelled the 7 km's of gravel road to the campsite located at Honeymoon Bay which is part of Jervis Bay.

All camping at Honeymoon Bay Campground on the Beecroft Weapons Range (BWR) is subject to the Australian Defence Department's operational capability requirements and Duty of Care to ensure public safety. BWR is approximately 4,200 hectares of Beecroft Peninsula on the northern headland of Jervis Bay.

Day 138
Saturday 24th May 2014
Campsite: Honeymoon Bay Camping, Jervis Bay
Campsite Co-ordinates:35.058104 S 150.7770559 E
Cost of Camping Site: $15.00 a night unpowered
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:21-25C Fine
Activities:
Walking & Reading. I went for a walk to Silica Cove and Target Beach before returning to camp while Maria caught up with her novel.

Basic bush camping is available at the campground on most weekends (Friday & Saturday nights only) and during NSW School and Public Holidays. Campsites are on a first-come first-served basis. A variety of wildlife exists on BWR, including some potentially dangerous species such as the red-bellied black snake, eastern brown snake and eastern death adder, along with the funnel web spider, red-back spider and white-tailed spider. Dangerous marine species include the blue-ringed octopus, bluebottles and stingrays.

Day 139
Sunday 25th May 2014
Campsite: Jamberoo Valley Reserve
Campsite Co-ordinates:34.647399 S 150.774556 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 63kms
Temperature Range:16-26C Fine & Sunny
Activities: Drove 16km's return to the Point Perpendicular Lighthouse on Beecroft Weapons Range before continuing on to Jamberoo.
Point Perpendicular and its Lighthouse is one of Jervis Bay's most distinctive and powerful landmarks. The lighthouse, built in 1899, is constructed of pre-cast concrete blocks and stands 93 metres above sea level. The lighthouse was staffed until decommissioned in 1993, following construction of the solar-powered light. It is located approximately 10km from the BWR entrance gate and public access inside the Lighthouse and associated buildings is not currently available.
Jamberoo Valley Reserve is situated next to the tennis courts along side the stream that flows through town. The campsite is small and located in the sporting complex in the town with several sporting ovals and a golf course. The site is adequate for about 5 caravans and cars. After setting up camp, I washed the car and went for a walk through town.

Day 140
Monday 26th May 2014
Campsite: Jamberoo Valley Reserve
Campsite Co-ordinates:34.647399 S 150.774556 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 20kms
Temperature Range:13-24C Fine & Sunny
Activities: Drove to Kiama and visited the harbour, blowhole and had lunch at one of the hotels. Washed the caravan and caught up with the washing.
Jamberoo is set amongst a lush and scenic rural setting. It is dairy country where black and white Illawarra Short Horn cattle are a common sight along with century old dry stone walls. The Jamberoo Pub is a focal point for locals and music lovers alike and the action park is a must for summer water fun for the whole family.
Kiama, first settled in the 1820s, has a proud heritage, which is easy to spot through its many buildings from the mid to late 19th century. The harbour also boasts a busy history and today the town is a tourist hub and commercial centre with a happy balance of coastal beauty and man-made attractions. You'll find nature's playground of blowholes and rockpools, beaches and bushwalks, all within the town itself, alongside cafes, bars, restaurants and unique shopping delights.

Day 141
Tuesday 27th May 2014
Campsite: Appin Reserve
Campsite Co-ordinates:34.19902 S 150.789534 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 70kms
Temperature Range:14-25C Fine, Cloudy & Windy
Activities: Drove to Appin south of Campbelltown, set up camp in the reserve and walked through town.

Day 142
Wednesday 28th May 2014
Campsite: Wanderest, Richmond
Campsite Co-ordinates:33.5960619 S 150.7552629 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free after paying $5.00 club membership
Distance travelled: 79kms
Temperature Range:13-28C Overnight Showers then Fine & Windy
Activities:
Drove to Windsor where I had the 3 batteries checked in the front of the caravan. The tests found one battery to have lost a cell so it was replaced under warranty. Continued our trip to Richmond where we set up camp at the Richmond Cummunity Club. The club has a campsite at the rear of their parking area called Wanderest Travellers Park where you can camp for up to 3 days at a time if you pay a $5 fee to join the club. A powered site costs $10 a night.
We ended the day by having dinner at the club followed by the first State of Origin back at the van.

The Hawkesury has beautiful scenery, world heritage locations, majestic rivers, six national parks, quiet secret places and heritage buildings. Thompson Square in Windsor is surrounded by colonial Georgian buildings including the Macquarie Arms Hotel (1815). At the other end of town is Francis Greenway's masterpiece, St Matthews Anglican Church (1817) adjacent to McQuade Park.
The approach to Richmond is by an avenue of mature London Plane trees.Richmond has many historic homes, churches and commercial buildings.

Day 143
Thursday 29th May 2014
Campsite: Wanderest, Richmond
Campsite Co-ordinates:33.5960619 S 150.7552629 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free, unpowered
Distance travelled: 97kms return
Temperature Range:9-19C Fine
Activities: Took a drive to Wisemans Ferry. Crossed the Hawkesbury River by ferry but found that the road that returned from St. Albans was closed at Webbs Creek ferry. We did a U turn and headed back to Wisemans Ferry and had a BBQ on the riverbank.
Wisemans Ferry is a picturesque village with awe inspiring views of the sandstone escarpments which fall away into the Hawkesbury River. This historically rich area is also where you can walk the UNESCO World Heritage listed Great North Road built by convict labour between 1826-1836.

Day 144
Friday 30th May 2014
Campsite: Wanderest, Richmond
Campsite Co-ordinates:33.5960619 S 150.7552629 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free, unpowered
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:18-24C Fine.
Activities: Caught up with washing, shopping and cleaning.

Day 145
Saturday 31st May 2014
Campsite: McNamara Park, Broke
Campsite Co-ordinates:32.747371 S 151.100033 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 167kms
Temperature Range:14-23C Fine but Cloudy.
Activities:
Travelled from Richmond to McNamara Park at Broke via the Putty Road. We had been here once before in 2011 and luckily the same spot was available. The campsite we chose is at the rear of the park behind a embankment which drops down from the road level. After setting up camp, we headed off and visited Tullochs winery. We then headed for Drayton's to try their port before heading to Robin Drayton's winery for afternoon tea.

The Hunter Valley is one of the most popular places in New South Wales and plays a pivotal role in the history of Australian Wine. With over 180 years of winemaking experience and over five generations of pioneering families they continue to farm the land and create unique and discerning wine styles known the world over. Tullochs and Draytons are two of these families.

Day 146
Sunday 1st June 2014
Campsite: McNamara Park, Broke
Campsite Co-ordinates:32.747371 S 151.100033 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 70kms
Temperature Range:15-20C Afternoon Rain.
Activities:
Today we visited several smaller wineries. These were Mount View, Petersons, Lindemans & De Iulis wineries. We broke up the day with a BBQ lunch at the picnic reserve overlooking Lindemans Winery.

Broke is a small village with rustic country churches and old fashioned charm. It is set in an area of hills and plains known for its stunning natural beauty and peaceful rural ambience. It is flanked by the Brokenback and Hunter mountain ranges as well as the World Heritage Wollemi and Yengo National Parks.

Day 147
Monday 2nd June 2014
Campsite: McNamara Park, Broke
Campsite Co-ordinates:32.747371 S 151.100033 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 70kms
Temperature Range:13-19C Fine.
Activities: Today, we travelled into Cessnock to refuel before heading for McWilliams & Tyrrells wineries. We broke up the day with a BBQ lunch.

McWilliams planted its first vines in 1880 at Mount Pleasant and is rich in both history and acclaim. Tyrrells, established in 1858, is family -owned and operated and is set across 320 acres at the base of the Hunter Valley's famous Brokenback Range and is home to some of Australia's oldest and rarest vines.

Day 148
Tuesday 3rd June 2014
Campsite: Jerry Plains Recreational Reserve
Campsite Co-ordinates:32.498486 S 150.910048 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 73kms
Temperature Range:8-19C Fine & Sunny.
Activities: We travelled from Broke to Jerry Plains passing many open cut coal mines on the way before setting up camp in the Recreational Reserve. The reserve is on the outskirts of town which has a service station and pub.
We finished the day by visiting Hollydene Winery which was a 20km return trip.

Jerry Plains is situated in the Upper Hunter, a country area known for its wilderness areas, distinctive wineries, world class horse studs, historical homesteads and vibrant wildlife. The Upper Hunter is blessed with deep, rich soils along the river flats and wide open grazing country – just perfect to grow dairy and beef cattle, sheep, pecan and macadamia nuts, world class wines and olives, seasonal produce, fruit and vegetables, herbs and game birds. Horses are just as important as The Upper Hunter Country is the second largest Thoroughbred breeding region in the world.

Day 149
Wednesday 4th June 2014
Campsite: Jerry Plains Recreational Reserve
Campsite Co-ordinates:32.498486 S 150.910048 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 70kms return
Temperature Range:7-21C Fine & Sunny.
Activities:
Today we visited Denman and visited the Two Rivers winery before finishing the day with a BBQ lunch in the local park.

Denman is a small, quaint country town and is home of the Upper Hunter Wine & Food Affair held on the first Saturday of May each year. Two Rivers Wines has been producing fine wines for many years but have only recently opened their cellar door to the public.

Day 150
Thursday 5th June 2014
Campsite: Bulahdelah Lions Park
Campsite Co-ordinates:32.413776 S 152.20533 E
Cost of Camping Site: Donation
Distance travelled: 174kms
Temperature Range:14-20C Fine & Cloudy.
Activities:
Today we refuelled and filled up with water before catching up with the washing at Branxton before driving to Bulahdelah, the gateway to Myall Lakes. We set up our campsite in the Lions Park on the banks of the Myall River over the water from the town.

The Great Lakes is an amazing place. It is characterised by a unique triple lakes system, meandering rivers, vast tracks of forest, 145km of stunning coastline, golden beaches, true wilderness, rich history and a rolling hinterland all with the magnificent Great Dividing Range as a backdrop. There are three great lakes, Myall, Smiths and Wallis.
The Myall Lakes is RAMSAR listed as a wetland of international significance. It has four parts covering an area triple that of Sydney Harbour and an incredible 280 bird species call the lakes home.
Smiths Lake is the smaller of the three great lakes and is situated mid way between Myall and Wallis Lakes. It offers warm, calm waters dotted with islands and bounded by the national park and the township of Smiths Lake.
Wallis Lake is one of the cleanest lakes in Australia, boasting crystal clear waters all year round. It is home to a rich seafood harvest including the famous Wallis Lake Oyster. It is 25km long, 9km wide and is fed by four rivers.

Day 151
Friday 6th June 2014
Campsite: Bulahdelah Lions Park
Campsite Co-ordinates:32.413776 S 152.20533 E
Cost of Camping Site: Donation
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:15-19C Morning Rain.
Activities:
We had a walk through town trying the dodge the showers and finishing with a coffee at Shiralee Cafe.
Bulahdelah is nestled on the banks of the Myall River at the foot of the rugged Alum Mountain and is known as the gateway to the Myall Lakes. Bulahdelah has the tallest known tree in NSW, The Grandis. It is a magnificent 400 year old flooded gum and is located in Myall Lakes National Park.

Day 152
Saturday 7th June 2014
Campsite: Wingham Brush & Riverside Reserve
Campsite Co-ordinates:31.871374 S 152.380504 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 85kms
Temperature Range:15-19C Cloudy with some Showers.
Activities:
Today, we travelled from Bulahdelah up the Pacific Highway to Wingham via Taree. We set up camp at the Wingham Brush & Riverside Reserve which is located on the Manning River. The area was quite wet from all of the rain but we were able to find a grassy area opposite the toilet block.

Taree is located on the Manning River and is the major commercial centre of the Manning Valley. It offers a great variety of shopping with modern underground complexes, arcades, boutique gift and clothing shops, craft centres, antique and speciality shops.

Day 153
Sunday 8th June 2014
Campsite: Wingham Brush & Riverside Reserve
Campsite Co-ordinates:31.871374 S 152.380504 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 2kms
Temperature Range:15-20C Fine.
Activities:
We were woken up this morning by the resident rooster crowing to announce the start of a new day. Today, we visited the local Museum and had lunch at the RSL.

Wingham is ten minutes west of Taree. Settled in 1853 on the banks of the Manning River, Wingham offers visitors a step back in time. Its rich heritage is evident in the many National Trust listed Federation buildings which surround the town common modelled on the English Square. The Historical Museum showcases a vast collection of interesting memorabilia.

Day 154
Monday 9th June 2014
Campsite: Coopernook State Forest
Campsite Co-ordinates:31.789232 S 152.609432 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 40kms
Temperature Range:-11-20C Fine during the day. Overnight showers.
Activities:
Before leaving Wingham, we walked through Wingham Brush Reserve observing the many flying foxes in the reserve. We then refuelled and filled up with water and restocked some supplies before continuing onto Coopernook State Forest to set up camp for the night. The campsite was in a large level clearing surrounded by euclaypts. When we arrived, there were about 10 other campers already set up.

Wingham Brush Nature Reserve is an endangered subtropical lowland rainforest. It has 195 species of native plants, including 76 species of trees and 32 different vines. The most impressive trees in the Brush are the huge Moreton Bay Figs, a type of strangler fig, and they are hundreds of years old. There are also quite a number of Giant Stinging Trees. The Brush is also a significent roosting and maternity site for the endangered Grey-Headed flying fox.

Day 155
Tuesday 10th June 2014
Campsite: Coopernook State Forest
Campsite Co-ordinates:31.789232 S 152.609432 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 0kms
Temperature Range:14-20C
Activities:
Today, we caught up with the blog and I started cleaning the top of the caravan from the grime that had accumulated over the past 14 months.


Day 156
Wednesday 11th June 2014
Campsite: Pacific Hwy, Yelgun Rest Area
Campsite Co-ordinates:28.491663 S 153.5231049 E
Cost of Camping Site: Free
Distance travelled: 463kms

Activities: Travelled from Coopernook State Forest to Yelgun Rest Area off the Pacific Highway north of Brunswick Heads after receiving a call from our son that the hot water system had sprung a leak at home. I decided that since we were so close to home, we may as well get home before the weekend to rectify the problem. This was the longest stretch that we had travelled in one day over the whole length of the trip around Australia.

Day 157
Thursday 12th June 2014
Campsite: Home Base, Brisbane
Distance travelled: 128kms
Activities: This is the last day of our travels around the country after 14 months on the road. Great to get back to sunny Queensland after such an exciting trip. These are some of the statistics of our trip:

Days on the Trip :387 Days
Total cost of 186 paid campsites :$4247/ Average $22.85 a night
Number of Free camp Nights :201
Total distance travelled overall : 35085 kms
Distance with Car & Caravan : 28438 kms
Total Diesel fuel used :5670.16 Litres
Total cost of Fuel :$8954.67
Average Fuel economy overall :16.16 litres/100kms
Average Cost of Fuel per Kilometre :$0.255
Cost of 12 9kg bottles of LPG used : $330

Hope you enjoyed reading about our travels.
Ken & Maria
BlogID: 4752
Views: 27210

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